Popular comedian Jörgen Raymann is the new ambassador for the Save Our Sharks project in the Dutch Caribbean, it was announced on Friday. Raymann will visit all islands next month during Dutch Caribbean Shark Week.
“I love the ocean and everything that lives in it. As Surinamese Dutch citizen and a frequent visitor of the Caribbean islands, I feel connected with the Caribbean,” said Raymann in a press release of the Save Our Sharks project, executed by Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance.
The Save Our Sharks campaign focuses on the protection of sharks in the waters surrounding Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba. During the threeyear campaign, which is funded by Dutch lottery Nationale Postcode Loterij, efforts will be made to improve legislation and preservation for the protection, the increasing of knowledge about sharks through research, and create more awareness among the people.
During Dutch Caribbean Shark Week from June 18 to 26, the focus within the Kingdom will be on sharks. Different activities will be organised in the Netherlands and on the six islands. After the kick-off in the Netherlands, Raymann will travel to the islands where he will visit various events and meet up with residents, politicians, fishermen and journalists. Together with DCNA board member Ron van der Veer, Raymann will visit the Windward Islands from June 22 to 25.
According to Raymann, there is a need to increase people’s knowledge of about sharks, and the fact that they are not as dangerous as thought. “The sharks that live in the seas around the Dutch Caribbean are totally no danger to people. Not enough people are aware of that. I hope to contribute to a better protection for sharks and, where needed, to improve their image,” he said.
Sharks, explained Raymann, are not only beautiful creatures to watch, but they also greatly contribute to the health of the coral reefs. That is also important for the fishermen, because a healthy reef will result in more fish and in turn higher catches. Sharks are also of importance for the local economy: dive tourists love to come to places where they can see sharks.”
Worldwide, sharks are threatened by excessive fishing and destruction of their habitat. Sharks are also often killed out of sheer ignorance, causing many shark species to be threatened with extinction. The number of sharks in the waters around the Dutch Caribbean has gone down in the past years.
The Islands’ nature organisations, Arikok National Park of Aruba, Nature Parks Foundation STINAPA of Bonaire, Curaçao’s marine biology institute Carmabi, Saba Conservation Foundation, St. Eustatius Nature Parks Foundation STENAPA and St. Maarten’s Nature Foundation, united in the DCNA, felt the urgency to address the plight of the sharks. For more information: www. saveoursharks.nl.
The Daily Herald.