Are you willing to help give the fighting chance that sharks deserve? They may rule the ocean, but they are incredibly vulnerable species. Economies can be fuelled in many places around the globe through dive tourism, some countries like Palau estimate over $18 million per annum, thanks to their living shark population.
Who should take this course?
Scuba divers and all water sport communities should learn about the values of these apex predators and why they are crucial to our marine ecosystem. The rapid decline in the shark population, on a global scale has become alarming and requires urgent protection. Sharks help balance the population of various ocean species they prey on, otherwise these species would explode in numbers. The biggest problem sharks face is over-fishing, fining and a product of by-catch. With populations, down by 80% it is very difficult for numbers to increase as they grow slowly and produce few young.
If you are not a scuba diver but wish to learn more about the AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty, you have an option to complete the knowledge only section of this course.
What will you learn?
During this course, we will discuss and teach awareness about:
Shark fining and the use of shark meat in fish & chips
Issues arising due to bycatch and marine debris
Provide information on the value of sharks to the marine environment
Show you how to identify hazards in the marine environment and on land that threaten sharks
Sharks and their conservation status and why they are vulnerable to impacts
Inspire you to become a shark conservation advocate to help protect these apex predators
Shark conservation in Malta, which is conducted through a non-profitable organisation, dedicated to research, education and raising greater awareness about these apex predators are doing a fantastic job. Check out SharkLab www.sharklab-malta.org/ for more information.
What learning materials do you require?
Guide to Impacts on Sharks
Project AWARE Ten Ways A Diver Can Protect The Underwater Environment
AWARE Shark Conservation Study Guide
What scuba gear will you use?
Basic scuba diving equipment
Underwater slates and pencil for documentation
Participant must be 12 years old, or older
PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver or equivalent from another training agency
Participants under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian consent
Complete a diver questionnaire declaring you are in good physical health (only for those seeking the Distinctive Specialty Rating)