Shark lovers united at the Bali Funathon, a special event which was launched by Giving Project AWARE. Three local dive centers participated – Blue Season Bali, Crystal Divers, and Joe’s Gone Diving. The dive centers enthusiastically joined in for the cause and together managed to raise funds and awareness over shark conservation. The event was a great success not just for the Bali diving community, but for the cause of shark preservation as well.
Sharks and manta rays thrive in waters surrounding Bali. But even though some countries have laws to protect them, many species travel far and go beyond national boundaries. Once they cross over into territories where no such protection exists, they are vulnerable to being hunted until very few are left. And, that is very sad. In fact, many sharks and manta rays are already endangered because of this. It’s only a matter of time before these marine animals become extinct, especially if nothing is done to stop it.
Spreading awareness will help protect sharks in general, as well as rays, especially in places where they are vulnerable. And that is what Giving Project AWARE meant to do when they created the Bali Funathon. The event included a FINtastic flea market, a Funathon family-style party with BBQ, auctions, raffles, and games, and a water volleyball tournament that lasted three months! See how divers unite to protect and conserve, here.
The flea market was a big hit for the diving communities that joined. Books, old clothes, jewelry, and DVDs were put up on sale for reuse. Another FUNtastic event was the water volleyball tournament whose teams battled against each other to help bring awareness to marine conservation, especially in regards to sharks and rays. Giving Project AWARE was able to raise an incredible amount of $14,000 through these means. Proceeds of the fund-raising are planned to be used for three things: to stop fining, to encourage full protection of critically endangered sharks, and to promote stronger policies for shark and ray protection.
The Bali Funathon wouldn’t have been a success if it weren’t for the enthusiastic Sanur Bali diving community. The active participation of dive centers, sponsors, and supporters of shark conservation helped Giving Project AWARE in its second year in Bali. In its own little way, the Funathon will spark a movement to protect not just sharks and manta rays, but the entirety of marine life in the area. It also helps shed light on the effects of overconsumption, a disease that plagues the world.