Organized as a cooperative by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, the Mote Marine Laboratory, The Humane Society of the United States, and FishPond USA, the Shark Free Marina Initiative (www.sharkfreemarinas.com) aims to reduce shark mortality worldwide by discouraging the landing of sharks and encouraging catch-and-release of sharks in sport fishing, while rewarding forward-thinking marinas that participate in this program. Additional supporting and organizing organizations include the Pegasus Foundation, Humane Society International, the Pew Environment Group, Fishpond USA and the Fisheries Conservation Foundation.
There are two different levels of commitment for an interested marina. It can either become a “Shark-Free Marina” that completely prohibits the landing of all sharks on its docks or a “Shark-Friendly Marina” — a facility that discourages the killing and landing of sharks and does not promote any activity that could harm sharks. There are currently more 130 marinas participating worldwide, including 96 in the United States, 24 in Fiji, and 6 in the Bahamas.
The enduring strength of this innovative and unique program is that it brings together under the banner of shark protection the diverse interests of recreational fishing, scientific inquiry and expertise, commercial interests and animal protection and conservation. It has been endorsed by noted Cartoonist Patrick McDonnell, Alec Baldwin, Nigel Barker, Elizabeth Berkeley, Bill Maher, Conservation Writer, Ted Williams, and Legendary Guitarist, Slash.
As the world famous artist, ocean conservationist and fisherman, Dr. Guy Harvey has said (see attached video DVD), “I encourage marinas and anglers to join with me and the Shark Free Marina Initiative to help protect sharks and our oceans. Our world needs sharks.” Or link to the video at www.sharkfreemarina.com/florida .
Also, please view, Guy Harvey’s outstanding new film, This is Your Ocean: Sharks. The trailer may be viewed at http://www.thisisyourocean.com/thefilm.html or a demo video may be viewed at http://vimeo.com/32198573.