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