"Shark Friendly Marinas are a great way to inform the boating and fishing community that sharks are more than a fishing trophy - they’re key players in keeping our oceans healthy."
- Jim Toomey, February 2011
Cartoonist and author Patrick McDonnell is a dedicated animal advocate and creator of the award-winning MUTTS comic strip. Created in 1994, MUTTS appears in over 700 newspapers worldwide, and has its home on the web at muttscomics.com. McDonnell has received numerous awards for his art and recognition for his promotion of animal protection. He has over 20 books in print including The New York Times bestsellers The Gift of Nothing and Hug Time. In 2009 he collaborated with The Power of Now author Eckhart Tolle to create Guardians of Being. McDonnell is a member of the national Boards of Directors for both The Humane Society of the United States, The Fund for Animals and The Charles M. Schulz Museum.
"Sharks have been dealt a bad hand when it comes to their image. People demonize them as monsters, even though they are responsible for, on average, about five accidental human deaths per year; yet, humans kill 100 million sharks annually! Tens of millions of sharks are slaughtered worldwide each year for shark fin soup. Many more are slaughtered as bycatch by the commercial fishing industry. While we need to eliminate the market for shark fin soup, we also need to stop the recreational fishery in the U.S. that harvests an average of ½ million sharks per year. Shark Friendly Marinas will reduce the mortal take of sharks and encourage responsible use of our oceans. We are sentient in ways animals are not. Sharks are innocent. They’re not mean. They don’t plot. They deserve our protection. Shark populations are in serious decline. We must act now to set an example and no longer contribute to the ongoing slaughter.”
- Bill Maher, August 2010
"I took my first vacation ever a few summers ago... when I went snorkeling the first thing I felt as I dove into warm the Caribbean was a nudge from a small shark. It was the most amazing thing to see up close. Growing up every kid is fascinated with sharks, they're beautiful, they're mysterious... still one of my favorite animated movies today is Shark Tale. It's easy to correct the mistake of catching a shark by setting them free... why would anyone hurt the most radical animal in the ocean?"
- Josh Madden, January 2011
"I am proud to support the Shark Friendly Marinas Initiative. Shark conservation is increasingly urgent as populations worldwide continue to plummet. It will be very difficult for some of these species to recover and we need to do all we can to ensure that they do. National and international conservation groups have called attention to the dire future for this long-living, ecologically important species. The Shark-Free Marina team is setting a new standard for responsible marine stewardship by promoting responsible catch and release tournaments and asking that recreational fishermen release any shark they catch. I applaud all the marinas that have joined this project.”
- Elizabeth Berkley, September 2010
"In my capacity hosting several popular outdoor television series, "Backroad Adventures” on TNN and "Suzuki's Great Outdoors” on ESPN, I have always maintained that we must all show respect and concern for wildlife resources and promote a strong commitment to conservation. Sharks are in serious trouble and need our help. I encourage marinas everywhere to work together to end the killing of sharks. The ocean environment simply cannot survive without this important predator. And, sharks are increasingly important to eco-tourism because they are worth much more alive than dead. According to a study undertaken by the Bahamas Diving Association, a dead shark is worth a couple of hundred dollars, while a live shark is worth $100,000 a year to the local community’s economy."
- Steve Bartkowski, December 2010
"I attended a kill tournament several years ago and photographed the sharks brought back to shore. I was appalled that the animals were then dismembered in front of crowds that included children. By documenting the suffering of these creatures I hope to bring about change in how sharks are viewed. Instead of killing them and hanging them upside down on the docks, sharks should be celebrated for their beauty and intrinsic value. As a father I hope to teach my children to respect the earth we live on and treat all the animals and plants with care and without contempt. There are many good fisherman out there who respect the oceans and know that in order to preserve their way of life for future generations we all need to be more aware of our actions and the results they may cause. Sharks are wonderful, complex creatures that warrant respect and protection. A shark is a shark, a human can be humane.”
- Nigel Barker, August 2010
"I am very concerned about the status of sharks. Shark populations in the U.S. face significant threats, and I am so glad to see that the scientific, sport fishing, and animal protection communities are coming together under the SFMI to address this critical issue. We are responsible for the health of the oceans and I support the efforts of everyone involved to reverse this alarming trend. Sharks need and deserve our respect and protection. Hopefully, it is not too late. I encourage marinas everywhere to join this important project."
- Alec Baldwin, September 2010
Photographer - Brigitte Lacombe