DeeperBlue.com had a chance to chat with shark advocacy group Fins Attached Founder Alex Antoniou at this year’s DEMA Show in Orlando.

Antoniou started Fins Attached in September 2010 in Colorado as a nonprofit organization with a mission to conduct research, promote conservation, education and advocacy.

While there are lot of environmental groups out there, as well as a lot of scientists, at the end of the day, the science alone is not going to save the sharks.

Because, if you don’t take the science, and apply it to change international policy, then there’s no point to the science, according to Antoniou.

Fins Attached’s mission is to save the sharks, and protect the oceans and marine ecosystems, which will benefit all life on earth.

So when it comes to protected areas, shark conservation, banning finning, and banning catching and exploitation of sharks, data from research have to be taken to empower governments to change international policy.

All of these things together will help, according to Antoniou.

As the sharks are migratory species, it can’t be just individual countries, but all of them working together.

Getting that international cooperation won’t be easy, as shark fishing is a very strong industry in many countries, which heavily influences the decisions of the governments and it will take education, time, and persistence to change that, according to Antoniou.

One thing that could help, Antoniou says, is for governments to establish protected areas where sharks travel — called “swim ways” — during peak migratory months.

It would also help to have these governments abide by international policies, which have been established through UN organizations such as CITES.

If you like to learn more about the Fins Attached mission, upcoming expeditions or events, become a member or donate to their cause, you can do so at their web site at
www.finsattached.org.

By Vaclav Havlik

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