May 20, 2011
The Shark-Free Marina Initiative
Protecting sharks worldwide, one marina at a time
Sharks are in serious trouble: 60 to 100 million are killed every year. The Humane Society of the United States and the Shark-Free Marina Initiative have combined forces to protect these top predators.
The SFMI encourages shark conservation at sport fishing and resort marinas by getting each participating marina to prohibit the landing of any shark.
Registered "shark-free" marinas in this voluntary program agree to prohibit sharks from being killed at their facility. Working in tandem with businesses and fishermen, the SFMI develops sensible protocols under which threatened species of shark are permitted to recover and replenish their stocks.
"Shark populations are globally at risk, which means real trouble for our oceans' health," says Luke Tipple of the SFMI. "Demand for shark fins, meat, and by-products must be reduced on a global and local level. The Shark-Free Marina Initiative is a practical solution to limiting shark mortality, while preventing illegal or wasteful shark killing."
Joining managing director and SFMI founder Luke Tipple are several advisors, including Dr. Guy Harvey, founder of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Johnny Le Coq, co-founder of Fishpond, Inc., and Dr. Robert Hueter of Mote Marine Laboratory. Watch Dr. Harvey's PSA
Some very important and influential celebrity spokespeople are also teaming up with SFMI, including fashion photographer and "America's Next Top Model" judge Nigel Barker, social commentator Bill Maher, notable actor Alec Baldwin, and legendary guitarist and founding member of Guns & Roses and Velvet Revolver, Slash. Watch our recent celebrity PSA
Although shark finning and commercial fishing are responsible for the majority of worldwide shark mortality figures, the SFMI goes a long way in changing perceptions of this much-maligned creature, and this push to encourage hundreds of marinas to take the shark-free pledge could save tens of thousands of sharks.