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How to be a ‘Shark Friendly Kiwi’ this Summer

10 January 2014
For immediate release

Friend or Foe?

Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium share their tips on how to be a ‘Shark Friendly Kiwi’ this Summer


Recent shark sightings at our beaches have triggered waves of fear amongst many New Zealanders. The irony is that it is sharks who have the most to fear thanks to shark finning and recent proposed shark mitigation strategies such as those being promoted in Western Australia. While New Zealand is finally catching up to international counterparts with a complete ban on shark finning coming into force by 2016, the delay in this ban is likely to have already impacted New Zealand shark populations. To help protect these majestic creatures Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium want to share their top tips for how every Kiwi can take action to be ‘shark friendly’ this summer.

“We understand that the public is concerned when a fin is spotted off a beach, but it’s important to remember that sharks are ‘apex’ predators and are critical in maintaining ecosystem function. They need our protection from practices such as shark culling and finning. We’d like to encourage Kiwis to think about how their individual actions can help protect this misunderstood animal,” says Andrew Christie, Curator at Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium.

How to be shark friendly:

• Campaign for a ‘fin free New Zealand’. Although the New Zealand Government has banned finning in New Zealand waters, we also need to support banning the use and importation of shark fin products. Complete the pledge to show your support http://www.kellytarltons.co.nz/protect/fin-free-pledge/

• Be a tidy Kiwi and take any rubbish with you to protect our coastal and marine areas

• Use ‘shark friendly’ fishing gear, such as circle hooks

• Always use the Forest and Bird ‘Good Fish Guide’, downloadable at http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/what-we-do/publications/-best-fish-guide, and choose your fish suppliers wisely

• Join campaigns calling for a global change in fishing legislation relating to by-catch

• Head to new Shark Mission at Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium these school holidays to educate your family on the protection and conservation of sharks

Shark Mission at Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium

Shark Mission is a new zone in Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium that offers visitors the chance to learn about New Zealand’s leading shark research programmes, play interactive games, experience spectacular visuals and learn fascinating shark facts. Kids will love exploring the aquarium to find shark facts on the brand new quest trail and they can then head to the shark tunnel to view New Zealand’s largest collection of sharks.

For further information or to book online visit www.kellytarltons.co.nz.

-ENDS-

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