Recently, you may have seen junior rangers giving people surveys while dressed as sharks.
This was part of STINAPA’s shark outreach program and 250 surveys were given to Bonaire residents to help determine how the people of Bonaire feel about sharks.
The findings were very interesting and hopeful:
88% of Bonaire residents have never heard of a shark attack in Bonaire.
74% of residents are aware of shark finning (where fishermen cut off and keep shark fins but throw the dead or dying sharks back into the ocean).
72% of residents underestimated the number of sharks killed each year by humans. The number is approximately 100 million sharks killed each year. Yes, 100 million – many more than people imagined.
75% think sharks are important to the coral reef.
64% support the idea of a shark sanctuary.
Sharks ARE necessary for healthy reefs, but as a result of severe overfishing, shark populations are declining rapidly throughout the world’s oceans. STINAPA reached many people while giving the surveys and was able to spread awareness and help educate the community about the importance of sharks and the peril that sharks are in. STINAPA is also very happy that, very recently, the Yarari Marine Mammal and Shark Sanctuary was announced, which surrounds the islands of Bonaire and Saba.
STINAPA would like to thank everyone who helped with the surveys, DCNA and the Nationale Postcode Loterij for their support.