Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Shark Research and Conservation in the Dominican Republic!

OK, here goes.

I must say that I was initially mightily confused.
The indefatigable Susana of Save the Sharks wants to start this project in the Dominican Republic, and is soliciting funds via this Indiegogo campaign.
At first glance, it is all rather, for lack of a better word, vague - but having talked to her and especially, having rekindled some of my rusty Spanish in order to read the Spanish synopsis, it appears that the project comprises the following.

There is no proper fisheries management in the Dominican Republic and as a consequence, the Sharks are severely overfished, and in dire need of help.
Susana and co have come up with this plan of action.
  • They want to finish off an existing project to protect a Mangrove habitat that acts as a Shark nursery in the vicinity of Estero Hondo where there is already a marine mammal sanctuary.
  • They then want to expand the protection to several other similar locations throughout the Dominican Republic.
  • They want to establish a program with the locals in order to monitor Sharks, but also to monitor the protected areas and any activities that may impact Sharks.
  • They may want to tag migratory Sharks in order to research their movements within Dominican waters.
  • They want to produce a film about the project.
  • They want to conduct presentations about their project both locally and internationally
The team is comprised of Susana, Lee as a videographer, researcher Guillermo and Manuel from the DR. Apparently, the local Government and local University professors are all for it.

And for all of that, they are asking for a paltry 5,000 bucks to get things off the ground.

Susana - is the above correct?
If so, it's certainly ambitious and will require a lot of meticulous project management - but it is a good thing and certainly worth investing a bit of money into. Later on, I anticipate that it will get MUCH more expensive - but by then there will hopefully be an established track record and a detailed plan of action.

Long story short?
I approve - go get 'em Tiger! :)

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