"We are an ocean planet... Project AWARE® is where action meets adventure." - Danna Moore, Director of Global Operations.
Project AWARE has a saying that goes something like this: We are an organization of action. Fins on or fins off, bringing the underwater environment to the masses is what we are all about.
Divers are generally adventurous people in their own right and they want to bring the excitement and understanding of the things that they do to those who can't or haven't been beneath the waves.
Two things stand out when you get to know the global organization that is Project AWARE — they love sharks and they love the ocean. The 4ocean team recently had a chance to reconnect with our friends out in California to do what is now a trending global movement that aligns perfectly with 4ocean's mission. The conditions weren't great but the goal was just the same...to #DiveAgainstDebris®.
With more than 54,000 participants worldwide, each and every dive brings new things to the surface that don't belong in the ocean environment. These items are cataloged and placed in a database that allows scientists to study what many are now referring to as "Garbology." It's a roadmap to the best possible data set to begin their work. Divers have collected over 1.3 million pieces of trash and each and every one adds to our knowledge.
The next big thing on the list for Project AWARE is to help protect the most vulnerable species of sharks. Up to this point, Longfin and Shortfin Mako shark populations have been completely unregulated. The overfishing these species have experienced is one of the clearest examples of what can happen when we are not paying attention to our impact on the ocean.
These species went from being relatively abundant just a few short decades ago to being listed as endangered at the last meeting of CITES. Much of this work was championed by Project AWARE. Their #Divers4Makos campaign brought widespread support and global attention to the fastest of all shark species. Hopefully, this will be an example of what can happen when the voices of the many are heard.
Make sure to check out our update video here to learn more about how Project AWARE and 4ocean are continuing to team up to help sharks and the ocean.
When you think of Mako sharks what comes to mind? Bullet train, Lamborghini, or just plain fast? Let us know in the comments below. To get in on the conversation, head over to our Discover 4ocean Facebook Group. Also, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up to date on all things 4ocean.