Thursday, September 03, 2015

Getting the Band Back Together

Over the last five years I've had the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing and dedicated people to protect sharks.

During my travels I collected more than a few passport stamps from Australia, Bahamas, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Chuuk, Curacao, Fiji, Grenada, Guam, Japan, Marshall Islands, Netherlands, New Zealand, Palau, Philippines, Pohnpei, Saba, Saipan, Samoa, St. Maarten, South Korea, Thailand, Trinidad, Turks &Caicos, and Yap. I was also on the Fiji delegation to CITES, advocated for sharks at four WCPFCs, and helped create the Micronesia Regional Shark Sanctuary over five APILs. Along the way we created a few shark sanctuaries, put in place some shark fin trade bans, and raised the global profile of the need to protect sharks. Also, Kevin Bacon once retweeted me. No. Big. Deal.

Why am I speaking in the past tense? Because it's time for new challenges. And when I say new challenges, I mean old challenges. I'm going back to my old job creating large marine protected areas. You remember the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument? I'll be doing stuff like that.

But before I hop over to new things, let's look back at sharks for just a few more minutes -- then we'll look forward. Want to see my very last presentation as a shark conservationist? I was in Bonaire last month and gave a public talk on shark sanctuaries to a crowd organized by STINAPA, DCNA, and CIEE Bonaire. All I can say is, my god do I hate the sound of my own voice. In my defense, this was late in the day and I had sat in a conference room all day.

I also talked to the Speak Up for Blue Podcast many, many months ago.  The podcast was published a few weeks ago. I talk about myself a little bit in this one and maybe you'll get to know something about me you didn't previously know (if that interests you).

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