For the 4th year, the Nature Foundation St Maarten will organize a fun and educational shark event for kids at Buccaneer Beach Bar. Kids Shark Day is part of the annual Sint Maarten Shark Week, organized to educate particularly the youth of St Maarten about the importance of sharks and healthy oceans. This year Shark Day will be on Saturday the 22nd of June and will start at 1 pm with a Shark Scavenger Hunt and will end with a raffle for all participating kids at 4 pm. Beside the yearly shark week activities, a creative and unique activity will be organized together with the WasteFactory in order to create shark art from waste at the same time and location.
“This year Kids Shark Day will have a Shark Scavenger Hunt, whereby shark objects and shark species can be found in the surroundings of Buccaneers, knowledge can be gained and tested about the sharks living in our oceans. Again we also have other free of charge shark activities such as; shark coloring, shark claying, a quiz to learn about sharks, shark tattoo’s, shark face painting and shark selfies can be made wearing hammerhead or great white shark suites. The waste to shark art activity will teach the kids about the value of trash and they can express their creativity by crafting beautiful shark art from single-use plastic items under the guidance of the WasteFactory” explained Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern organizer of St Maarten Shark Week.
Sharks are not frightening or dangerous but an important contributor to the ecosystem and important to the local community as they attract valuable dive tourism. Sharks also keep the reefs clean of unhealthy fish, thus keeping the ecosystem in balance. Healthy oceans need sharks, we as humans depend on the oceans therefore we need sharks. Last year only 4 people died due to a shark bite on this earth, sharks are not a threat to humans; humans are a threat to shark as we kill 100 million a year.
“We have over 500 different shark species in our oceans; you can find sharks in the size of 6 inch up to 40 feet. They are already in our ocean for more than 400 million years, reasons enough to protect these gorgeous species and learn about them. Kids which will attend the event will learn many of these characteristics about sharks, the media often likes to portray sharks as killing machines, however the facts shows us completely the opposite. Occasionally shark bites do happen, however no unprovoked attack has ever been recorded on St. Maarten. It is more likely that you get killed by a coconut falling on your head than by a shark. It is safe to swim and dive with sharks; it is time to change their image’ continued Nature Foundations Project Office Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern.
The first 60 kids participating in the Shark Scavenge hunt will receive a goody package and all kids will receive raffle tickets for their efforts, by which great prizes can be won, such as a tube ride or paddle boat rental. There will be special shark drinks for adults and kids, the proceeds of these drinks will go to the Nature Foundations shark awareness program. A team of volunteers will be ready to provide the kids with an exciting and educational shark experience and guide them through the activities, Shark Day is for all ages to attend and free of charge (although a 5$ donation is appreciated for the waste to shark art activity to cover material costs). Nature Foundation is looking forward to welcome many kids and their parents during the event to learn about sharks while having a great time.