Extra money for shark conservation in the Dutch Caribbean
Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten each have magnificent nature parks, both on land and in the sea. For many years now these parks work together in the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA). This corporation has many benefits to all involved. One of them is to reach out to major sponsors like the Nationale Postcode Loterij.
In a ‘first’ for the Dutch Caribbean, responding to a plea from DCNA and the local marine parks to “help us save our sharks”, the Nationale Postcode Loterij recently approved a Special Project for Euro 1,662,550 to work on all six islands with local communities, fishermen and researchers on conservation for our threatened shark populations.
Shark conservation work is already firmly under-way on St. Maarten, where the Government banned the killing of sharks in its waters for the coming decade and where the Nature Foundation is already running a shark tagging programme to collect valuable information on local sharks. Shark monitoring was kick started in 2014 on Saba, and the Saba Conservation Foundation is busy producing a video to demystify sharks and explain the important role they have in our seas.
“Worldwide over 100 million sharks are killed every year as a result of fishing and shark finning activities. Sharks are simply being driven to the brink of extinction by our ignorance and greed.
Many people do not know how important they are for the well being of our reefs and how much money they earn for us all by attracting divers that love to dive with them. With this funding from the Lottery, working closely with local communities, we want to be able to learn all we can about our sharks and create safe havens for them in the Dutch Caribbean”, said Tadzio Bervoets, Executive Director of the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation and project leader of this important project.