The goal of Sharks4Kids is to create the next generation of shark advocates through education, outreach, and adventure. 2018 has already been a busy year for our projects around the world.

In March we traveled to New Providence, The Bahamas to begin our partnership with Bahamas National Trust. We spoke on 5 radio shows, visited 11 schools, worked with 2 Bahamas National Trust Discovery Clubs and did a presentation for Ministry of Education teachers. In total, we spoke with just over 900 students and teachers in just 3 days. The Bahamas established their shark sanctuary in 2011 and is arguably the “shark diving capital of the world.” Considering these key points, education is critical for the preservation of healthy shark populations in the region. These populations not only maintain healthy ecosystems but also generate tremendous economic value. A study led by Andrea Haas and the Cape Eleuthera Institute found that sharks and rays generate 113.8 million US dollars annually for the economy. These students are the future and we want to give them the tools to stand up and be a voice for the oceans and sharks.

Outreach director Michelle Andersen teaches students about tagging sharks Image: Sharks4Kids
Outreach director Michelle Andersen teaches students about tagging sharks Image: Sharks4Kids

We’ve also been partnering with the Marine Environmental Education Center in Hollywood, Florida to run our shark science and education days. 50 students age 7-14 are able to participate in these free programs. They learn all about the ways we study sharks, see the equipment we use and do hands-on activities. Several dead sharks have been found or donated to the center, allowing these students to watch a dissection and learn about the anatomy. Overall the program has been ha uge success and we will continue to offer these free days every other month.

Students learn how to do a scientific work up Image: Mariana Sabogal
Students learn how to do a scientific work up Image: Mariana Sabogal

In April we traveled to Singapore to attend and speak at ADEX. We spent the week before running an education program in the local schools. We visited 13 schools in 4 days, speaking to nearly 1300 students. Singapore is ranked third on the global shark fin market, but students are eager to help save sharks and the oceans. They asked incredible questions and we really interested in our tagging projects. I love their reactions when they see videos of sharks and people swimming with them. We are changing fear to fasciation by showing them the reality of sharks. I spoke at ADEX and met some really amazing educators and passionate conservationists. We look forward to returning next year.

Partnering with local organizations and ambassadors is really important, as we want them to be a voice and empower students after we are gone. We want to have a continued presence so students can ask questions and get involved. We are all in this fight to save sharks and our oceans together, so it’s also remarkable to team up and strengthen our efforts.

Kids can save sharks. They have a voice and they can make a difference.

To learn more about our programs our to work with us, please visit our website.

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Jillian Morris Brake
Jillian Morris ("Shark Girl") is a marine biologist, shark conservationist, professional videographer/photographer, educator, writer and is absolutely obsessed with sharks. She grew up on the water in Maine and has wrapped her life around the ocean. She is the founder and president of Sharks4Kids, a shark education nonprofit inspiring the next generation of shark advocates through education, outreach, and adventure.

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