The St. Maarten Nature Foundation has relaunched its shark research and conservation project, which was put on hold in 2017 as a result of Hurricanes Irma and Maria:
Nature Foundation has restarted its shark conservation programme as part of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) “Save Our Sharks” conservation project funded by the Dutch National Postcode Lottery. The research is aimed at better understanding the life characteristics of sharks in St. Maarten waters, including population structure, abundance and migration.
The Foundation had to suspend the research programme due to the impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. With the relaunch, the Foundation aims to continue to conduct scientific research into and monitoring of the shark population, and changing perceptions about sharks through education and outreach programmes.
The Foundation will host its third Annual St. Maarten Shark Week starting June 8 with various activities centred on educating the public about the important role sharks play in the ocean environment.
Information about Shark Week activities is available via Nature Foundation’s Facebook page.
Sharks play a very important role in the oceans, on the reefs and taking care of healthy fish stocks. Sharks are at the top of the food chain in virtually every part of every ocean, also around St Maarten. In that role, they keep populations of other fish healthy and in proper proportion for their ecosystem.
Sharks are also very important to the tourism sector, with many divers traveling to St. Maarten to dive with sharks, said Tadzio Bervoets of Nature Foundation.
Source: the St. Maarten Daily Herald.
[Image: St. Maarten Nature Foundation]