CONSERVATION

OUR CONSERVATION EFFORTS

Our motto; “Research, Education, Preservation” prevails, as our 3 company directors are extremely passionate about wildlife and sharks in particular.    Our company serves on various national and international wildlife conservation boards and trusts, thereby ensuring that our crew remain focussed on research and conservation at all times.

Every excursion we undertake, is based on creating awareness that the great white shark is an endangered species and that each one of us can make a difference.  We aim at educating young and old, that sharks are highly misunderstood and form a vital part of our marine eco-system.  Therefore it is vital that they should be protected, not harmed.  We also focus on the anatomy of the shark, the reasons why we have to dive responsibly with them and also explain that great white shark by-products reach high prices on the international markets, being the main reason for their slaughter.

Our Managing Director is acknowledged worldwide as an international wildlife facilitator and rehabilitator and an expert in oiled wildlife and has dedicated most her life to rehabilitation of wildlife.  Mariette grew up as animal rehabber under the watchful eye of her grandfather who was also a well-known hands-on animal rehabber. Her passion lies predominantly with marine animals and the rescue of sea birds.  Mariette was the logistical co-ordinator for the largest oil spill in the history of mankind, “The Treasure Oil Spill”.  She has been involved with marine bird rescue since 1990, and forms part of the global oiled wildlife networks by supporting them with hands on logistical advice.   Mariette was the chairperson of the SANCCOB Executive committee from 2001 – 2002 and has recently been elected Chairperson of the SANCCOB Board of Directors.  Mariette was also the founder of the Great White Shark Protection Foundation, a non-profitable organization where she served in the chair for more than 12 years.  She was also elected as spokesperson for the non-consumptive fishing sector in National Parliament. Mariette was appointed Zoo Administrator under Sen. Paul Bremmer in Iraq to save the war stricken wild animals belonging to Saddam Hussein from severe death, while there was a raging war.   Her tremendous efforts and input over the years has been recognised across the globe with various NGO’s and she often does presentations on her animal rescue endeavours.   A lot of her hands on work and courageous efforts to save wild life have been captured in written books and well known global magazines.  .

Mariette is a well-respected figure amongst international emergency relief teams worldwide, and as contract member, is on 24 hour call to assist with any wildlife crisis globally. Mariette also dedicates her time to the mitigation of “human impact on aquatic birds, marine life (including sharks) and other wildlife”   worldwide, which is achieved through participating in emergency response and rehabilitation.   Mariette unconditionally dedicates her time to the education, research and planning of operational wildlife projects and regularly receives invites to give lectures on the successful facilitation and rehabilitation of marine and other wildlife.

Throughout our tours, we strive to raise public awareness and a better understanding towards this highly misunderstood predator, which nearly faced extinction due to brutal and   unnecessary killings over the years.   We work towards putting the “jaws perception” back into perspective and encourage our visitors to contribute towards preserving our heritage. Informative educational   information is provided, with an emphasis on conservation and preservation, thereby ensuring the continued existence of the Great White shark.
Our tours are 100% eco-friendly and we refrain from using anything other than natural products, to attract the sharks.   Utter care is taken when handling the sharks, ensuring that they are not harmed or unduly disturbed in any way.

Our Tour Guide daily collects data on the size, sex, scar markings and times that sharks are sighted.   Areas visited and where sharks have been encountered are plotted on our Global Positioning System, and all data forwarded to Marine and Coastal Management in Cape Town, for further analysis.   This information is also made available to scientists.

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SANCCOB

White Shark Ventures is not only a member of SANCCOB, but Mariette Hopley is also the current elected chairperson of the SANCCOB board of directors.  Through this, we are committed and fully support the work SANCCOB has been doing over the years by transporting injured, oiled and sick birds from Dyer Island to the SANCCOB rehabilitation facility with our company transportation, free of charge.  As a team we have been actively involved in penguin rehabilitation projects over the years and Mariette has been involved in planning and building the SANCCOB penguin chick-hatching and bolstering building.  The success of this project largely relied on the layout and logistical routine of the building.

Today this project is marked as one of its kind in the world and is deemed a huge success.  In our shop you will find a SANCCOB donations welcoming table, with various ways you can support and help us to protect the African Penguin.

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Mariette Hopley (Board Chairperson – SANCCOB), and Dr Stephen van der Spuy (Executive Director – SANCCOB) at the Effect of Oil on Wildlife Conference in 2015.

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Mariette Hopley (Board Chairperson – SANCCOB), Paul Stewart (Head of Funds – Grindrod Asset Management) and Dr Stephen van der Spuy (Executive Director – SANCCOB) at the unveiling of SANCCOB’s new x-ray machine from the Blue Fund.

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Mariette Hopley (Board Chairperson – SANCCOB), Mark Gerard (Threatened Species Coordinator – Wildlands) and Dr Stephen van der Spuy (Executive Director – SANCCOB) at the unveiling of SANCCOB’s new x-ray machine from the Blue Fund.

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INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR ANIMAL WELFARE

White Shark Ventures is a member of IFAW and through this we support the work they do on a day-to-day basis.  This includes the following;

  • Defending Whales
  • Saving Seals
  • Fighting Wild Life Trafficking
  • Protecting Elephants and Rhinos
  • Protecting Dogs and Cats (Mass Killings)
  • Animal Rescue – Mariette has been personally involved in various of the projects
  • Saving the last Tigers
  • Education
  • Policy Advocacy
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WWF

White Shark Ventures is a member of WWF and through this we align and support the work they do on a day-to-day basis.  Herewith a few of their main issues currently being dealt with

  • Raise public awareness on climate change.
  • Reduce deforestation in Madagascar, at least where WWF is working,
  • Promoting and encouraging alternatives to slash and burn agriculture.
  • Create new protected areas (PAs) where WWF is working
  • Help local communities to sustainably manage the forest through transfers of natural resources management (TNRM).
  • Restore forest landscapes where WWF is working.
  • Promote reaforestation to meet the growing demand for fuel wood.
  • Assess the carbon stocks of the forest in the project sites, improve existing knowledge on specific forest-carbon related topics and contribute to the development of a REDD+ national strategy in Madagascar.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

BEE Contributor and Employment Opportunities

In the year 2000 – White Shark Ventures became the first company to provide job opportunities to local people of the underprivileged community.  In 2001 our company became Black Economically Empowered.  We wholeheartedly contribute to social upliftment projects and even sponsor the local Masakhane Soccer Team.   We have registered with Government and have successfully sent all our employees on courses to further their education and training in order to become successful leaders and managers in our company.  We are proud to confirm that today all our previously disadvantaged employees are skilled under Government registration with SETA services and they are fully compliant and up to date with their training and expertise to be managers within our company and industry.

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SHARK CONSERVATION ALLIANCES

White Shark Ventures work in alliance with various Government Authorities and animal welfare work groups from across the globe.  We pride ourselves in aligning ourselves with the work and research they do, in order to enhance your customer driven, educational shark cage diving and viewing tours. There are a few of which we are proud to be associated with, in terms of project support, participation and membership:

Shark Alliance

White Shark Ventures is a member of Shark Alliance and through this we support the work they do on a day-to-day basis;

The Shark Alliance is a global, not-for-profit coalition of nongovernmental organizations dedicated to restoring and conserving shark populations by improving shark conservation policies. It was created to secure a Community Plan of Action for the conservation and management of sharks, and a tighter shark finning regulation, in Europe. It achieved both objectives, with the adoption of an EU Shark Plan in 2009 and the closure of all loopholes in the EU shark finning ban in 2013.The Shark Alliance was led by the Pew Charitable Trusts, The European Elasmobranch Association, Project AWARE and Shark Trust.

Shark Alliance have been successful in getting the EU Shark Plan endorsed by fishing Ministers in April 2009.  We wholeheartedly support the lobbying campaign and today we are still actively driving the contents of the plan through our educational information on our excursions.  This plan set the stage for sweeping improvements in EU shark fishing management and protection policies, which include:

  • Strengthening the EU finning regulation.
  • Setting science-based, precautionary catch limits for sharks.
  • Providing special protections for Endangered shark species.
  • Proposing complementary measures for shark conservation in international waters.
Shark Alliance Members in Brussels
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Shark Trust Project Participation

White Shark Ventures is a member of the Shark Trust and through this we support the work they do on a day-to-day basis;

  • Whale Shark Project
  • Shark sighting Data Capturing
  • International Policy making on Sharks

DIVING AFFILIATIONS AND CODE OF CONDUCT

PADI

Being a registered PADI resort and dive boat operator, we have to live and align ourselves with their Mission, Vision Goals and Values.

Purpose – PADI exists to develop programs that encourage and fulfill the public interest in recreational scuba and snorkel diving worldwide.

Vision – PADI intends to be the world leader in the educational development of scuba diving professionals and enthusiasts.

Slogan – PADI – The Way the World Learns to Dive.

Mission – We want to teach the world to scuba dive.

Values
 – In all of our relationships, we will demonstrate our steadfast commitment to:

Leadership — Being a world-class leader in every aspect of our business, in the way we design and develop our products, in the training of recreational scuba divers, instructors and retail and resort operators, in the support and service we provide to our professional members (instructors, assistant instructors, divemasters, retail facilities, resorts) in diving safety and education, in aquatic environmental education and preservation, in our management performance in our global marketing of scuba diving adventure and in developing our skills at every level.

Integrity — We honor our commitments, take personal responsibility for our actions and practice the highest ethical standards, treating everyone fairly with trust and respect. We value the skills, strengths and perspectives of our internationally diverse membership and employee groups. Our team will foster a participatory workplace that empowers our people to get involved in decision making and develops leadership skills at every level. We will continually encourage cooperative efforts at every level in our company.

Quality — In all that we do, we pride ourselves in performing it correctly and accurately the first time to the highest standards of quality and efficiency. We will strive for continuous quality improvement in all that we do in order to be the world’s premier recreational diving training and educational company.

Customer Satisfaction and Retention — Keeping customers satisfied and earning the continued loyalty of our members and divers is essential to our success. We will achieve total customer satisfaction by understanding what our customers want and delivering it flawlessly.

The Environment — In all that we do, we will strive to achieve our commitment to preserving the aquatic environment for future growth.

Underwater Cultural Heritage — We are committed to the protection of underwater cultural heritage for future generations of divers and non-divers alike.

We urge you to join us in our plea to save & protect our precious marine eco system.