Monday, January 11, 2010

First Annual South Florida Shark Conservation Party a Huge Success!

Sunday, January 10, marked the first annual South Florida Shark Conservation Party. The event was hosted by Shark Savers, Oceanic Defense and Shark Safe Network at Pro Dive International in Ft. Lauderdale.

The purpose of the gathering was to introduce and unite local folks and beyond who love sharks and healthy oceans, and want to get involved with shark conservation efforts. The crowd consisted of scientists, divers, students, boat captains, and the general public. Clips from Lawrence Groth's extensive archive of shark footage were shown while fun music played in the background.

One goal of the event was to raise money for the Shark Savers/WildAid billboard campaign to "Say 'no' to shark fin soup" currently being run in China. From party donations, we will be able to purchase 15 bus stop billboards! This is a very exciting outcome of the shark celebration. For more information on the campaign and purchasing these billboards yourself, go to here.

The shark party revelers were treated to PSA screenings produced by Shark Savers/WildAid. These powerful PSAs feature international basketball star Yao Ming, and other known celebrities and athletes. To view the Yao Ming PSA, check out this page . Julie Andersen of Shark Savers introduced the PSAs as well as gave updates on the campaign. We are proud to contribute to such a creative and effective cause!

Joe Romeiro and a virtual Bill Fisher, of 333 Productions, debuted their latest film, "A Lateral Line." Along with visually stunning shark footage, the film includes graphic coverage of a shark kill tournament. One astonishing scene shows the beating heart of a long-dead mako. Sad, but incredibly convincing. The film was well-received and we continue to applaud the efforts of our friends at 333.

Samantha Whitcraft from Oceanic Defense followed by presenting their 100% catch and release video to the audience.

Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, Dr. Gruber, Steve Stock, and Bill Parks each spoke to the room about what has been accomplished in 2009 and what their plans for conservation and research are for 2010. They expressed words of encouragement and heartening after seeing the progress that has been made this past year. Walt Stearns was unable to attend, as he was away on a dive trip.

Finally, the inimitable Andy Brandy Casagrande IV entertained the masses with his infectious songs about finning (anti, of course!) and being a great white shark.

We are grateful to Pro Dive for volunteering to host the event. Even though our plans for an evening boat ride were scrapped due to Florida's unseasonable cold, we were able to stay indoors at Pro Dive and enjoy an evening with good friends. The food and drinks from Coconuts restaurant were delish. Special thanks to Sergio for the three exceptionally well-designed shark cakes!

So far, photos from the party can be viewed on the Facebook pages of Samantha Whitcraft, Fort Lauderdale Dive Report by Pro Dive International, Brendal Davis, Thomas Sergent, or Felix Leander.

A hardy thank you to all for your support and attendance of the inaugural South Florida shark conservation party! See you all again next year!!


  1. I wish i was there!
    Eric Zsolczai

  2. Congrats all! Judging by the photos Dani and I missed one heck of a party! Congratulations on a very successful event. See you all soon!

    Jeff & Dani
    Oceanic Defense

  3. Great party. Great blog. Wonderful people. Sharks are good too! ;-)