Until December 31 have a matching grant to save endangered hammerhead sharks and mobula and manta rays and protect critical habitat in Indonesia. Iconic and endangered, manta rays and hammerhead sharks are vanishing from the ocean, driven largely by the international trade for their body parts.
Your tax deductible donations will benefit Shark Stewards, a non-profit project of the Earth Island Institute to combat the fin trade of endangered sharks like hammerheads and save coral reef ecosystems through marine protected areas and increasing fisheries protection in SE Asia. In 2021 you can even join us diving or snorkeling to collect data and add to their permanent protection in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Thank you in advance for your contribution restoring ocean health and saving endangered sharks and rays from extinction.
About the Program
Initiated in 2019 our new efforts focus on Indonesia, the largest shark fishing country in the Pacific in the heart of marine biodiversity: the Coral Triangle, which includes major shark fin trade hubs of Malaysia and Singapore. Threats to endangered species including hammerheads, whale sharks and mobula rays like mantas and devil rays in the Coral Triangle are severe. The shark fin trade and mobula ray gill raker trade for export is leading to the extinction of these species.
Since 2013 Shark Stewards has been working in the Coral Triangle in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore to increase shark and ray protection and reduce shark fin imports and exports to China. A 2019 report by the non-profit TRAFFIC ranks Malaysia as number 2 in global shark fin imports ahead of Singapore and behind Hong Kong. Trade records indicate that import and re-exports from Hong Kong to China are on the decline, while numbers are increasing at other trade hubs where we focus our work.
In 2021 Shark Stewards is focusing on a new campaign with our Singapore chapter to ban all import/exports of CITES protected shark and ray species. We are also continuing our work with the Sabah Shark Protection Association to focus on trade reduction in that shark fin hotspot in Malaysia.
Overfishing and habitat loss through fish bombing add additional threats to the survival of this fragile marine ecosystem. Supporting dive ecotourism, scientific research, and community education enables alternative livelihoods and will reduce shark and ray fishing.
Our goal is to increase protection for endangered sharks in Indonesia and provide permanent protection by establishing marine protected areas.
Why Hammerheads and Mantas?
These charismatic species are among the most threatened with extinction. One study estimates that scalloped hammerhead sharks have been reduced by over 90%. Manta ray's are targeted and caught as bycatch in a number of global fisheries throughout their range. Manta rays are particularly valued for their gill rakers, which are traded internationally to make traditional medicine.
These amazing fish are also the most sought after by divers to observe and photograph and revenue raised through ecotourism brings in over 100 million dollars per year. These sharks and rays also provide important ecological services and are worth far more alive than dead.
About Shark Stewards
Shark Stewards, is a non-profit project fo the Earth Island Institute. Our work is dedicated to saving sharks and protecting critical marine habitat through shark fin trade bans, stopping shark fishing and creating marine protected areas. Our work includes introducing and supporting shark fin trade bans in the USA and internationally, and introducing and expanding marine protected areas from California to SE Asia. Since 2013 we have worked in the coral triangle with local partners and NGOS to limit the shark fin trade and protect sharks and habitat in Malaysia and Indonesia. Part of our efforts with the Sabah Shark Protection Association to Save Sabah Sharks
Earth Island Institute grows environmental leadership through our core programs in Public Education, Project Support, Restoration Initiatives, and New Leaders Initiative (Brower Youth Awards) and has over 70 projects to save the environment internationally.
We started a Go Fund Me to support Shark Stewards in its work to create strict no-fishing and fin trade regulations for hammerhead sharks and mobula rays in 2021. We have a match for every tax-deductible donation. Can you help? Go to sharkstewards.org or please share this message!
- Sharon Duyzend
- Gretchen Coffman
- Jeff Morrison
- Markus Frank
- Tara Mueller
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