Representatives of Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) visited Saba last week in relation to Shark Week. DCNA Ambassador Jorgen Raymann and Secretary Ron van der Veer also visited Aruba and Curacao to raise awareness of the vital role that sharks play in the sea’s eco-system. While in Saba, Aruba and Curacao, Raymann and Van der Veer spoke with government officials, politicians, entrepreneurs, fishermen, divers, teachers and pupils. They emphasised that people should not fear these majestic creatures, but that these animals are very valuable for the wellbeing of maritime life and by extension, of people.
If we save our sharks we help save our oceans and if we save our oceans in the end we save ourselves,” said Raymann, a popular comedian and TV show host of Surinamese descent, while relaying the “shark message” on Saba.
Sharks help to maintain a healthy fish population by eating sick and weak fish. As such, they are important for fishermen. Dive tourists like to see sharks and therefore prefer to visit islands where they can witness these animals under water. As such, these fascinating creatures contribute to generating income for the islands.
Raymann and Van der Veer also spoke with members of the Customs Department, Police Force and the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard about combating illegal fishery. “Legislation to protect endangered shark species has improved, but that has little effect without effective enforcement of the law,” DCNA stated in a press release.
Raymann and Van der Veer’s visit to the islands coincided with Dutch Caribbean Shark Week that included activities not only in Saba, Curacao and Aruba, but also in St. Maarten, Bonaire and the Netherlands.
During multiple well-attended events on the islands and in the Netherlands, peopie were informed about how important sharks are for the preservation of coral reefs and for the quality of the sea surrounding the islands.
Dutch Caribbean Shark Week is a part of the Save Our Sharks project carried out by Aruba’s Arikok National Park, Caribbean Maritime Biodiversity Institute Carmabi in Curacao, National Parks Foundation Stinapa Bonaire, St. Maarten Nature Foundation, St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation Stenapa and Saba Conservation Foundation.
DCNA coordinates the Save Our Sharks project, which is financially supported by the Netherlands Postcode Lottery. Princess Beatrix is the patron of DCNA.
The Daily Herald.