Extra money for shark protection
WILLEMSTAD - Earlier this week the Dutch ‘Postcode Loterij’ approved a grant of USD 1,9 mln for a three year project aimed at shark protection in the waters of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten. The money will be made available to local marine parks through the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA), which is a nongovernmental organisation in which nature parks on all six Dutch Caribbean islands co-operate.
The implementation of this project will be done together with local communities, fishermen and researchers and directed by local experts.
Mr. Tadzio Bervoets, manager of the Sint Maarten Man of War Shoal Marine Park, is delighted: “All of us who work with these majestic creatures are unbelievably excited and appreciative of the Postcode Lottery for this significant and important contribution. Not only for shark conservation on our islands but also within the region, where much work is being done to understand these important creatures and the role they play in the health of our oceans and the sustainability of the island communities that depend on the sea. All of the involved marine parks have put shark conservation and educating the public on the importance of sharks as a top priority and with this significant boost we will be able to better understand these wonderful creatures and educate our communities on their beauty, their importance for nature and last but not least their contribution to the development of our diving tourism.”
Shark conservation work is already firmly underway on St. Maarten, where the Government banned the killing of sharks in its waters and where the Nature Foundation is already running a shark tagging programme to collect valuable information on local sharks.
Mr. Kai Wulf, Parks Director for the Saba Conservation Foundation said, “This support could not have come at a more opportune time, elevating our shark conservation efforts to the highest level. The excitement of now being able to really have an impact, besides preaching appreciation for these beautiful species as a keystone of a healthy Caribbean sea our livelihoods depend on, yet allowing us to learn more about them and to promote better protection measures, is quickly becoming very contagious.”
The cooperation of the six islands through DCNA proved important in realising this success. DCNA President Mr. Glenn Thodé explains: “Expert of the nature parks worked very hard to produce an outstanding project proposal and because of the outstanding relationship between DCNA and the Postcode Lottery we managed to convince them to select this project for their financial support.
Major donors like the Postcode Lottery prefer projects in which islands work together. DCNA for many years has been such a trustworthy platform for all involved, both inside the Kingdom and abroad.”
More information on this project and DCNA can be found at its website: