A recently launched grassroots campaign aimed at shark conservation is quickly spreading across the globe. A collaboration between two graduate students at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Pew Environment Group, Shark Savers, and Shark Defenders, Shark Stanley – a charismatic little hammerhead – is at the center of the campaign, traveling the world to raise awareness and help to protect sharks and rays.
The campaign was prompted by the next Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna (CITES) meeting, which will be held March 2013 in Bangkok. At the 2010 CITES meeting, several shark proposals failed, marginally missing the number of passing votes required. With 176 member countries, this multilateral agreement protects more than 30,000 species globally and plays a powerful and key role in preventing the extinction of many plants and animals by ensuring sustainable rates of trade.
How the campaign works:
The campaign organizers hope to have Shark Stanley reach each of the 176 Member countries by partnering with international organizations, aquariums and NGOs. Shark Stanley photos will be shared across various social media platforms, engaging each person directly in shark conservation efforts in a fun way. Ultimately, they hope to gather at least 5,000 photos from the 176 countries, including those from celebrities and big names in marine conservation.
How you can help:
A cutout of Shark Stanley is being circulated for you to download. Just cut him out and take a photo with him! Information on how to submit your photos can be found here. The photos will act as “signatures” and diverge from traditional petition approaches. Moreover, the photos will be submitted in a booklet to all the CITES representatives responsible for voting, and a wall-sized mosaic of the photos will be created.
Help spread the word, and get your friends to participate in this fun campaign!
For more information, please visit: www.sharkdefenders.com/p/shark-stanley.html
Images via: www.sharkdefenders.com