A group of shark advocates, worried about the current situation many shark populations are facing, decided to start a profitable shark-diving business that will benefit coastal communities. They are currently looking for suitable locations to improve the status of sharks and their habitat using ecotourism.
“Sharks play an important role in the marine ecosystem and are often at the very top of the food chain,” says Elena Salim Haubold, cofounder of Shark Business. “Unfortunately many populations are being depleted at an unsustainable rate due to overfishing and the degradation of their habitats. We must do something to avert this.”
Shark diving is an increasingly popular activity. In fact, this study shows that shark tourism generates more than $314 million USD annually worldwide, and is expected to more than double in the next 20 years. In comparison, the unsustainable landed value of global shark fisheries is approximately $630 million USD and has been in decline for the past decade.
“If we can use the income generated from this activity to demonstrate to people that preserving their marine resources is beneficial to them, it is possible to change attitudes and fishing practices forever,” says Salim Haubold.
After visiting more than 15 countries to examine how different shark companies operate, the Shark Business team has learned how to effectively implement sustainable shark diving and is ready to put these ideas into practice.
For more information please visit sharkbusiness.org.