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Community : Abaco Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 - 1:45:37 AM

Abaco Shark Education Tour Held
By Jillian Morris
Mar 25, 2016 - 10:29:03 AM

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Shark Crew at SC Bootle High School Image: Enie Buhler

Florida based nonprofit Sharks4Kids teamed up with NC State PhD student Enie Buhler to visit schools around the island of Abaco. This three day education tour was made possible by a grant from the Save Our Seas Foundation and the team spoke to over 200 students ages 3-16.

Day one the team headed south and the first stop was in Sandy Point at James A. Pinder Primary School to speak to grades 4-6 and pre-K. This was followed by two presentations at Crossing Rocks Public School grades 1-6. The next day the team ventured North to Cooper’s town to speak to students at SC Bootle High School and then finished the tour the following day, speaking to grade 6 students at Central Abaco Primary School.

Students with shark coloring sheets Image: Jillian Morris

The presentations focused on the biology of sharks, science and research, filming and diving. The Bahamas is home to ground breaking shark research and is arguably the shark diving capital of the world, so along with the ecological value of sharks, it is also necessary to discuss the economical value they have. According to the Bahamas National Trust, one study estimated $78 million in revenue brought into the Bahamas each year from people visiting to dive and snorkel with sharks. The team also discussed the Bahamas Shark Sanctuary, established in 2011.

The goal of Sharks4Kids is to create the next generation of shark advocates through education, outreach and adventure. Students are encouraged and hopefully inspired to take action and know they can make a difference.

Special thanks to Save Our Seas Foundation for funding, Friends of the Environment for assisting with the scheduling and for hosting the team at the Frank Kenyon Research Center, Enie Buhler for organizing and teachers Brennell Higgs, Mrs. Arthur and Whitney Hepburn, Sophia Butler and Paul Knowles for coordinating the visits to each school.

Teaching students about shark skin Image: Enie Buhler

Shark Crew at Central Abaco Primary School with Mr. Paul Knowles Image: Enie Buhler

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