Conservation organizations, Shark Savers and WildAid, have joined forces. The merger will allow the pooling of their resources into campaigns to stop shark finning and shark conservation, and increased efficiency of operations.
WildAid, Shark Savers Join Forces to Stop Shark Fin Demand
Read the open letter from Shark Savers Executive Director, Michael Skoletsky regarding the merger.
New York and San Francisco (August 22, 2013) – WildAid and Shark Savers have announced their intent to merge, combining two of the world’s most successful shark conservation programs. Shark Savers’ programs and name will join WildAid’s portfolio of programs to protect endangered wildlife species including elephants, rhinos, and tigers; combining the complementary capabilities of the two organizations and increasing the efficiency of operations.
“WildAid and Shark Savers have significantly reduced shark fin soup consumption in China and, most recently, encouraged protection for highly vulnerable mantas at the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES),” said Peter Knights, Executive Director of WildAid. “By combining the efforts of our supporters under one program we firmly believe that we can push shark conservation past the tipping point, saving millions of sharks.”
Shark Savers’ highly acclaimed “I’m FINished with Fins” campaign launched in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan earlier this year with WildAid, National Geographic, and World Wildlife Fund as partners. Later this year, WildAid will launch the ‘I’m FINished with Fins’ campaign in China; building on its ongoing campaign to stem consumption of endangered wildlife.
“We are excited to join WildAid, a highly respected 4-star charity, at a time when it’s vital for us to focus resources and talents to protect the most vulnerable species,” said Michael Skoletsky, Shark Savers’ Executive Director. “We know that we can count on our supporters to join WildAid’s efforts to stop the demand for shark fin soup.”
Skoletsky, together with Shark Savers’ Mary O’Malley, will join WildAid’s Board of Directors and Shark Savers’ Board Chair Wendy Benchley and Board Members Sue Chen and Ellen K. Pikitch will join WildAid’s International Advisory Board.
In addition to the ‘I’m FINished with Fins’ campaign, Shark Savers’ SharksCount citizen science program and the overall Shark Savers grassroots campaign to protect sharks and rays will continue within the context of WildAid’s Shark program. Shark Savers’ Shark and Ray Sanctuaries program will combine with WildAid’s Marine Protection Program.
The pending merger is subject to regulatory approval.
WildAid focuses on addressing the human threat to wildlife. Our comprehensive approach includes public awareness campaigns and educational initiatives to reduce consumer demand for wildlife products, and working with communities to support and enforce key protected habitats around the world. WildAid has also defined a comprehensive marine enforcement model that focuses on the law enforcement chain, which encompasses the activities of detection, interception, prosecution, and the sentencing of lawbreakers. For more information, please visit the WildAd website.
About Shark Savers
Shark Savers was founded in 2007 by six long-time divers driven by a shared passion – to save the world’s dwindling shark and ray populations. Today, more than 25,000 members from 99 nations share that passion. Focusing on action and results, Shark Savers programs result in saving the lives of sharks and rays. By leveraging professional experience and expertise, Shark Savers brings this important issue to the masses in many compelling forms, motivating people to stop consuming sharks and shark fin soup, and working for the creation of shark sanctuaries and other protections. For more information, please visit the Shark Savers website.