Monday, 16 July 2012

Manta rays, a species close to the heart of every diver and every individual who cares about the future of our ocean, are increasingly threatened with extinction

Project AWARE

Manta rays, a species close to the heart of every diver and every individual who cares about the future of our ocean, are increasingly threatened with extinction. They have roamed the ocean for 150 million years and yet we are witnessing their ecocide before our eyes.

Demand for manta ray gill rakers – or the internal feathery structures that strain plankton – has risen drastically, driving untold numbers of deaths for the Asian medicine market. The gruesome and cruel destruction of these gentle creatures is needless, tragic and extremely alarming.

As the environmental voice of the global dive community, Project AWARE is working at every turn to ensure that mantas will not disappear on our watch. Help us ensure maximum protection for these animals before it’s too late. The time is now. Make an urgent donation today to support critical conservation efforts to protect mantas globally.

FACT: Manta ray catch has nearly quadrupled in seven years according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

FACTProject AWARE has a track record of success on this critical issue. In 2011, in coordination with our partners and with your support, we succeeded in safeguarding this wide-ranging, globally threatened species and its key habitats under the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). Project AWARE has the global reach and seasoned expertise needed to try to stop this slaughter - but we need your financial support.

FACT: Worldwide value of manta-based tourism and filming is estimated at $100 million USD per year. Manta rays top divers’ must-see list time and again. Divers around the world have of a truly special relationship with marine creatures and  this means we must play a pivotal role in their protection.

Project AWARE is now targeting protection for mantas and their close relatives the devil rays under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) – the world’s largest, most effective wildlife conservation agreement. CITES protections offer the best hope for controlling the manta trade globally and ensuring species recovery.

The battle ahead is going to be difficult. But our opposition is underestimating us. Dive supporters span the globe as guardians of the sea from surface to depth. We will not let manta rays die silently and needlessly. Exercise this power, make waves and join together with us in protecting mantas and devil rays today.

Visit the Manta Rays at Risk section of our website for more information on the manta gill raker trade. Thank you for your urgent support!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Fiji Shark Sanctuary Campaign | Coral Reef Alliance

Fiji Shark Sanctuary Campaign | Coral Reef Alliance

CORAL, working in partnership with the Pew Environment Group and the Fijian Ministry of Fisheries, is raising awareness for shark protection in Fiji through an exciting shark conservation campaign.
The campaign's objective is to create a Fijian National Shark Sanctuary that would
  • prohibit the commercial fishing of sharks throughout the entirety of the Fijian exclusive economic zone;
  • prohibit the import and export of shark products in Fiji;
  • prohibit the sale of shark products within Fiji;
  • allow recreational catch and release of sharks; and
  • allow the incidental, artisanal catch of sharks by citizens of Fiji, assuming the subsequent shark or shark products are not sold.

Since February 2011, our team has been working on the ground, alongside the Fijian people, to raise support for shark protection. Because effective conservation requires collaboration, we have been engaging and educating local stakeholders from the
confederacies, provinces, districts, and villages to ensure
long-lasting protection for sharks.

CAMPAIGN POSTERFiji Shark Campaign Poster
While Fiji is home to a high diversity of sharks, many of these species are threatened with extinction globally. Download our shark conservation campaign poster to learn more.
Shark Hope

As part of our community-based conservation efforts in Fiji, CORAL's field staff and shark sanctuary campaign partners worked with a local production company to produce Shark Hope. Told from a uniquely Fijian perspective, the stories and imagery used in this educational film are a reflection of the local community's rich traditions and cultural identity.
Meeting with Ratu Epenisa Cakobau
Meeting with Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, high chief of Bau Village and the Kubuna Confederacy, who has given his support for shark protection
Sharks have long held a place of respect and worship in Fiji, but past efforts to legally protect them from local and international fishing pressures were met with resistance. Thanks in part to the recent wave of shark sanctuary designations around the world, however, this current campaign is gaining momentum.
In July, Fiji's Department of Fisheries and Forests confirmed that it is reviewing Fiji's fisheries laws and is considering revisions that would include a ban on the trade of all shark fins and other products derived from any shark captured in Fijian waters. If the proposal moves forward, we expect the government to issue an official decree before the year's end. The passing of such a law would make Fiji the first Melanesian country to approve such comprehensive protection for these iconic animals.
The successful passing of the decree is only the first step. The second—and perhaps most important step—is making sure the new policy is effectively implemented. We will work with the Fijian people to make sure communities are aware of the law, understand its importance, and proudly support it.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

2012 Great Fiji Shootout - Underwater Photography Seminar and Contest

Underwater Photography Shootout is coming to FIJI!

Hosted by Photo Pro Chris Liles on November 5th-10th photographers will unleash and hone their skills under Fiji’s Coral Coast’s clear warm tropical ocean. YOU can be one of them and previous experience is not required.

Discover what the Great Fiji Shootout is all about.

To book your space on the Great Fiji Shootout contact your dive travel agent or visit the Diveaway Fiji contact page.

2012 Great Fiji Shootout - Underwater Photography Seminar and Contest: