Help Protect Sharks and Rays with Project AWARE

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Calling all divers: we need your help to save our oceans. Project AWARE® is fighting for sharks and rays at CITES 2016, and PADI® is supporting the campaign by matching all donations made (up to $20,000) from now until 7th October 2016.

Why sharks and rays need our protection:

International demand for meat, fins, teeth, oil, cartilage, and gill plates is causing the depletion of many shark and ray populations. Conservation efforts to protect sharks and rays exist, but too many species are falling through the cracks. Project AWARE is using CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), the world’s most powerful wildlife conservation agreement, to help protect sharks and rays that are at risk from unregulated international trade.

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The proposal seeks to list nine species of devil rays, three species of thresher sharks, and the silky shark under the endangered species convention. Project AWARE wants to get these species the protections they deserve so that we don’t lose them. Sadly, it’s possible that one day there could be virtually no sharks or rays left in the ocean if things don’t change.

So please take this opportunity to stand united and double your impact. Your donation will help present a strong case of support and show legislators that the dive community is committed to protect these animals from unsustainable, irreversible harm. Regulating international trade is a key step towards protecting these sharks and rays, and together we can affect change.

How you – and other divers – can help:

Divers are an incredibly influential group of advocates. We are a unique and significant economic group that is passionate about the health of shark and ray populations. Together, we can play a key role in helping protect these species. Can you help? Starting today, your donation will be matched dollar for dollar by PADI up to $20,000 until October 7th, 2016. You can choose between a one-time matched donation or an ongoing monthly pledge to Project AWARE.

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The time to act is now. The 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES is happening this week, and Project AWARE will be on the ground in Johannesburg, South Africa to fight for these animals. The conference is from September 24th-October 5th, with our donation matching fundraiser ending October 7th, so it’s a crucial time to donate. Project AWARE needs our support to fund their work now and beyond the conference to protect marine life.

You can read more about the sharks and rays initiative here on Project AWARE’s website.

Can’t donate? Here’s some other ways to get involved:

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