SHARKPROJECT: Communicative “Hailights”

From a successful charity event to a citizens’ initiative with 1.2 million signatures: Skills supports the communication of the species protection organization SHARKPROJECT.

“Life under water” – that is, preserving the oceans, seas and marine resources – is one of the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals. Plastic waste, empty fishing and pollution from sewage are just some of the problems that are massively affecting these important marine ecosystems and the animals that live in them.

SHARKPROJECT is a non-profit organization for the protection of over 500 shark species and their habitat. Because: If the sharks die, the oceans die. The volunteers work all over the world – from Europe to Costa Rica and South Africa. And Skills provides them with communications support for their work from Austria.

Sustainable successes for marine protection

In addition to education and awareness-raising, extensive educational programs for schools, direct approaches to politicians and political institutions, and continuous press relations, selective campaigns and events also cause a stir.

Thus, the last Sharknight attracted more than 600 international guests in Vienna and at the same time provided the stage for the photo competition “Haicontest”, which awarded the best shark photos from underwater photographers from Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The OceanNight charity event, hosted by the Diving Club Wiener Neudorf, raised more than 8,000 euros for aquatic and shark conservation projects. And in 2021, an international success was recorded when – Spain an Portugal – until now the black sheep in shark protection in Europe – announced measures to protect the endangered mako shark after a long urge, and banned fishing and landing in their ports. 

The most recent highlight was the resounding success of the EU citizens’ initiative “Stop Finning – Stop The Trade“, in which SHARKPROJECT was on board from the very beginning: a whopping 1.2 million declarations of support – far more than necessary for a citizens’ initiative – were submitted. The goal of “Stop Finning” is to ban the shark fin trade in the European Union and to expand the “Fins Naturally Attached” regulation to prohibit the export, import and transit of loose shark fins. This is because sharks continue to be senselessly and brutally slaughtered simply for their fins, which are considered a delicacy in some countries.