Monday, 31 August 2015

GIF shark project successfully completed

It is done. Finished. Another project successfully completed by Green Islands Foundation and partners. Friday August 21st 2015 marks the final major milestone in the GEF SGP funded shark project implemented by GIF. 

All the hard work over the last few years has paid off and during the launch event held at the Natural History Museum the fruits of our labour were presented to the people that will be using them.

Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Mr Dogley kicked off the afternoon by explaining why this project was important, especially in the light of the past shark attacks on Praslin. The educational component of taking kids out into the field was desperately needed to make sure that they understand that sharks are not put on this planet to eat people.

The minister’s views and support were much appreciated and were followed by a presentation by Mr Arjan de Groene, general manager of Green Islands Foundation, detailing what we achieved during this project. He went through the shark surveys with fishermen, how the educational posters were made, what the problems were with making the shark ID guides, how the fieldtrips went with school kids, and more. A very big thank you was in order to all our partners in this project. Without them this whole project would not have been possible. Special thanks goes out to Ms Jennifer Appoo, the tireless and persistent project manager without whom the shark project would have grounded to a halt quickly.

Mr de Groene handed the first samples of the shark identification guide to Mr Vincent Lucas, acting CEO for the Seychelles Fishing Authority. Mr Shane Emilie, the Environmental Education Coordinator at the Ministry of Education received the first set of educational posters that will be distributed to all schools in Seychelles. Finally Ms Cecile Kalebi was the proud recipient of a small symbolic preserved grey reef shark signifying the donation of a complete preserved shark collection to the Natural History Museum by GIF.

Finally Ms Kalebi took the chance to thank GIF for their help and she handed a certificate of appreciation to Mr de Groene and thanked everyone present for their support during the project. Everyone was invited to have a first look at the posters and final shark collection as it is displayed in the Natural History Museum and the responses were very positive indeed!

For those interested in the preserved shark collection, GIF invites you to visit the Natural History Museum at your convenience. You will also find the educational shark posters we developed and if you’re lucky, someone might still have one of the shark ID guides!

GIF hopes that the work under this project will be used by many, many people to help explain the wonderful world of sharks to everyone in Seychelles!

Many thanks go out to our funders and all the partners that have helped us achieve these milestones

The launch event in the news:
The launch event in Today newspaper:

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