A mythical creature, the subject of films, scary, chased, mutilated … the shark is in great danger. It’s a predator that has become prey. More than 30% of shark species are threatened with extinction. Every year, more than 100 million sharks are caught in the oceans.
The Oceanographic Museum is conscious of the importance of saving sharks, which are essential for maintaining a balance in the oceans. It is demonstrating its commitment to their protection through awareness-raising activities, in its role as a mediator between scientists and the public.
In 2011, five baby blacktip sharks and two adults were welcomed to the aquariums, adding to the various species of sharks already represented (including nurse sharks and zebra sharks).
With around 675,00 visitors each year, the Museum aims to make the public more aware of these magnificent lords of the sea.
Inauguration of the special shark area
This area was inaugurated on 7 February 2012 on the occasion of a visit to the Oceanographic Museum by H.E. Mr. Johnson Toribiong, President of the Republic of Palau, in the presence of Mrs. Marie-Pierre Gramaglia, Minister for Environmental Affairs, Public Works and Urban Development and Mr. Robert Calcagno, Director General of the Oceanographic Institute, Prince Albert I of Monaco Foundation.
The Republic of Palau is at the forefront of protecting sharks. It has set a good example by banning shark fishing in the whole of its Exclusive Economic Zone, an area of over 230,000 square miles. During his visit, President Toribiong signed a special information panel highlighting this national approach, which has been acclaimed all over the world.
Launch of the “Save Our Sharks” programme
Opening this dedicated area in Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum is the first stage in a programme of more ambitious awareness-raising activities. The Oceanographic Institute is planning a major exhibition on the subject of sharks and the publication of a book for the general public on this endangered predator. It is also planning a series of lectures on protecting these species, which are key to biodiversity.
*Palau is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Philippines and to the north of Indonesia.