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Shark saviour
Tuesday 4th october 2011, Bordeaux, France.
Dear Wearelucky,
We work on reducing the fishing threat to endangered species, like sharks, through national and international policy work, collaborations with other conservation groups, and by creating a market and demand for sustainably fished seafood. Friends of Hector was launched in 2010 to add a public outreach component to our work. We have made gains through our policy work, but in recent times the government has stalled on making any significant changes to protect marine species that are not important commercially. In order to create more political will a vocal public constituency is needed to put pressure on decision makers.
Hector the Blue Shark, is the spokeshark of our outreach work. He has proven to really connect with people, create discussion and a creative way to raise awareness of what can seem overwhelming and complex issues. We want to create an avenue for ordinary people to learn about ocean issues, shark conservation, and be part of an interactive campaign that inspires people to act. As the manager of the campaign, I wanted to walk the talk and undertake an individual action as well. So, the Hector On Wheels tour was born focused on raising awareness, connecting with new followers around the world through our social media, and to raise funds for our continuing international shark conservation work. With little lead time to plan, I decided that whatever organically grew as I cycled along would set the tone. We were really pleased with the success. Hector now has almost 4000 friends on facebook, 1000 newsletter subscribers, a creative intro video,travel blog, website, and a growing vocal support network. Now we hope to continue the momentum and increase the education component of Hector's campaign and professionalize our outreach and internet communications.