Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What is Sharkweeks Palau about?

Palau is renowned worldwide amongst scuba divers as a premier dive destination for close encounters with sharks in their natural environment. Oceanic currents and nutrient-rich up-wellings combine to create perfect hunting grounds for Palau’s resident patrolling sharks without the need for orchestrated shark cage dives or controversial baiting of sharks. As a veteran Palauan guide says “Every dive in Palau is a shark dive!”.

But there are big problems lurking just below the oceans surface…sharks are being killed at such an overwhelming rate that they face possible extinction in the very near future. According to a survey by Dalhousie University in Halifax, an average of 80% of all deep-sea sharks have disappeared forever over the last six years. This is not only a dramatic exploitation of the population but also a form of tampering with the largest ecosystem of the world.

Sharks need our assistance now. What better classroom for shark awareness and education than diving and snorkeling with Palau’s sharks?

The goals of the program are to educate visitors about sharks, their importance as apex predators in the marine environment, their significance to Palau’s tourism industry and to inspire people to act immediately to end the unsustainable slaughter of sharks worldwide.

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