Tomorrow, June 8, 2013, is World Oceans Day and Contiki is proud to be a founding partners of the non-profit TreadRight Foundation, focusing our efforts on preserving the world’s oceans through our Contiki Care program.
Back in 2011, Contiki appointed ocean explorer and filmmaker Celine Cousteau as Contiki’s Sustainability Partner, who recently led diving excursions on the April 21 departure of Contiki’s new Ecuador & Galapagos trip. All proceeds from Celine’s special departure went towards SharkSavers (www.sharksavers.org) and their Citizen Science Program, an oceans initiative that Contiki proudly supports.
Globally, sharks have the reputation of being one of the most feared animal species and are perpetually represented as bloodthirsty killers in films and television. Shark Savers is dedicated to “saving sharks and mantas through building awareness, education, and action.” Shark Savers’ objectives are as follows:
- Improve the image of sharks
- Raise awareness about threats to sharks
- Reduce demand for shark fins
- End the practice of shark finning globally
Information on the Citizen Science Program
Citizen science refers to a network of volunteers, many without any specific scientific training, that perform research-related tasks such as recording species observations accumulated over time to reveal local trends in population and areas of habitation. Without this extensive and impartial data scientists would be unable to conduct many lines of research and advocacy groups unable to ask the specific questions that need to be asked about man-made influences on animal population and what we can do to help.
In the marine world recent groups such as Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) have been engaging divers and snorkelers to conduct reef fish surveys, providing scientists with data for sanctuary reports and monitoring plans to protect the reefs, stop overfishing, and help provide sustainable tourism and economies for local communities. Reports that rely on this factual data can also help ensure support, improve conservation and management of charismatic ‘megafauna’ (large animals), like sharks.
Michael Tieso, editor-in-chief of travel blog “Art of Backpacking” also traveled to the Galapagos with Contiki, participated in shark counting, and interviewed Celine Cousteau. Check out his interview here: Interview with Celine Cousteau about Conservation & Sustainability with Contiki.
Support World Oceans’ Day and be conscious in your conservation efforts to preserve the oceans for future generations!