Sea Shepherd's Shark Project Wins Dutch Postcode Lottery

Credit: Sea Shepherd
Credit: Sea Shepherd

Published Oct 23, 2019 6:23 PM by The Maritime Executive

Sea Shepherd has received a 1.98 million euros ($2.2 million) award from the Dutch Postcode Lottery to help establish Africa’s first shark sanctuary.

Since 2016, Sea Shepherd has worked with Gabonese authorities to stop illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing in Gabon’s coastal waters. In 2018, Sea Shepherd expanded its support to Gabon by providing policy guidance through its legal division – Sea Shepherd Legal (SSL). Following a series of collaborative workshops in early 2019, SSL and officials within Gabon’s national parks agency ANPN determined that Gabon could become the first African country to secure full protection for sharks and rays.

Drawing from the most successful attributes of existing shark sanctuaries from other jurisdictions, ANPN and SSL aim to ensure that the new sanctuary will include a strong legal framework, robust enforcement and comprehensive biodiversity monitoring.  

More than 100 million are killed by human impacts, such as IUU fishing and shark finning, each year. A number of scientific studies have demonstrated that the depletion of sharks results in the loss of commercially important fish and shellfish species down the food chain, including key fisheries such as tuna that maintain the health of coral reefs.

Since 2007, Sea Shepherd has received 17.4 million euros ($19 million) from the Dutch Postcode Lottery.