150 people pledge to protect sharks at Alo Paopao Paddling Festival

"Our Samoa, Our Sharks, Our Responsibility" was the core theme of a campaign launched that saw a commitment from over 150 people to protect sharks within Samoan waters during the Alo Paopao International Paddling Festival this month.

Held annually in Samoa, the event also draws a large number of supporters and families.They along with the paddlers participated in a number of special family activities to promote the importance of sharks in our ocean. These were led by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE), Conservation International and the Samoa Conservation Society.

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The team from SPREP, MNRE and the Samoa Conservation society who organised the outreach.
Photo: SPREP

"Our interactive activities were very popular with families, we had a Shark Challenge which ensured for enjoyed learning," said Ms. Faasipa Lemalu, Shark Outreach Campaign Assistant.

"We had a really good response from those that took part, leading to 150 people pledging their support to protect sharks within Samoan waters in recognition of their state and the threats they face."

The Chinese Ambassador to Samoa, His Excellency Wang Xuefeng, also took part in this event and pledged his support to protect sharks in Samoa.

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H.E. Wang Xuefeng, Chinese ambassador to Samoa, pledges his support to proctect our sharks. 
Photo: SPREP

Interactive activities during the Alo PaoPao Festival saw stations established allowing both children and adults to learn about the different shark species, the importance of sharks in the environment and Samoan culture, and the threats they face, as well as conservation measures and how individuals can contribute to the protection of sharks.

Children also had the opportunity to draw and write what they thought about sharks and how they could help save sharks in Samoa.

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Some of the Alo Paopao paddlers joining the activities before the start of their races. Photo: SPREP

The "Our Samoa, Our Sharks, Our Responsibility" national campaign for Samoa launched at the Alo Paopao Festival is supported by MNRE, SPREP, Samoa Conservation Society and Conservation International.

For further information please contact Faasipa Lemalu at faasipal.ext@sprep.org or Juney Ward at juneyw@sprep.org.
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