Saturday, July 05, 2014

British Virgin Islands

I spent the first part of this week in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.  Back in May the British Overseas Territory became the world's 10th shark sanctuary. The Associated Press quoted me as saying the Caribbean territory is "showing that small islands can have a big impact on global biodiversity."

I went to the BVI on this trip to represent my employer and to meet the government to see if there were ways in which we could continue to collaborate.

I'm not at liberty to discuss those conversations on this blog, but the answer was yes.  And our first bit of collaboration was for me to don this shark costume on the beach during the annual Fisherman's Day celebration.  Ah, the things I do for mother nature.

Alright, so I will discuss one thing.  In the upcoming days my employer is going to begin reworking our Shark Stanley campaign to advocate for the creation of shark sanctuaries and other management measures.  We've identified 10 additional species that already have international protections, are deserving of international protections, or are representative of the places where we work.  We decided on this trip, and there was near unanimous agreement with all of the people we spoke with, that the nurse shark was an excellent mascot to represent the coral reefs of the British Virgin Islands.  So keep an eye out for Shark Stanley's new friends in the upcoming months and be prepared to help them protect sharks around the world.

And completely unrelated to sharks, while I was sitting at an internet cafe near the airport, I noticed this Pacific canoe sitting in the harbor.  What the heck was it doing in BVI?!  The captain, Hans, came ashore and I asked what he was doing and how he got his canoe, and he said he was sailing from Western Africa, through the Panama Canal, stopping at Easter Island, on his way to New Zealand.  I googled the canoe's name and found some more information about its creation.  I think Hans plans to give rides to tourists once he arrives in New Zealand.

And one of my favorite things about BVI?  Cape Air, the same airline that services the flight from Guam to Saipan, flies tourists from Puerto Rico to BVI.  The people of Saipan have constant frustrations with Cape Air, and I got a real kick out of seeing them on the other side of the planet (and chuckled to myself as both flights in both directions were delayed).

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