Applaud Shark Attack Survivors Working for Shark Conservation

Target: Debbie Salamone, organizer of the Shark Attack Survivors for Shark Conservation group

Goal: Show appreciation for a shark attack survivors group working together to conserve the many species of sharks in our oceans.

Shark attack survivors from all around the world have formed a group to promote shark conservation and urge lawmakers everywhere to help restore dwindling shark populations. These men and women are working to save the lives of the very animal that almost took their own, showing just how courageous and thoughtful these people are. This group has successfully campaigned for better shark fishing regulations and an increased awareness of this pressing issue. Survivor Debbie Salamone was the woman to start it all and begin the battle of making a difference for sharks everywhere.

Salamone was up to her waist in water when she was attacked by a shark in 2004, leaving her Achilles tendon severed. At first she was angry and out for revenge, but she decided to turn her devastating situation into something positive. Salamone began working with the Pew Environment Group in 2009 as a communications manager with a passionate goal of putting an end to overfishing in several oceans. More specifically, she wanted to get the word out about shark overfishing and shark finning practices. The same year, she organized Shark Attack Survivors for Shark Conservation. Ever since, the survivors have been taking advantage of their unique life experiences to spread the harsh realities about the danger sharks face and urging others to help their cause.

Up to 73 million sharks are hunted and killed every year. The vast majority of these killings are for the sole purpose of making shark fin soup, an Asian delicacy. One step of the process for creating the soup is known as shark finning. Fishermen catch and remove the fin of a shark, then proceed to dump the sometimes still-living shark back into the ocean to either drown or bleed to death. This fishing practice is very unsustainable and cruel which is why it was so important to the Shark Attack Survivors for Shark Conservation group to make a change. The group was very influential in persuading U.S Congress to close the loopholes in the United States shark finning ban signed by the president in 2011.

The group has many other accomplishments on their resume. In September of 2010, Salamone and eight others survivors went to the United Nations headquarters in New York with a mission to urge decision-makers and important leaders to implement more complete shark conservation laws. They have stood behind the presidents of Palau and Honduras, who created shark sanctuaries in nearby oceans. Every day since the founding of this group, the survivors have been working to educate the public and promote safety for sharks. Mike Coots, another shark attack survivor and shark advocate, says it best; “What better voice is there than ours?”

The courage of every single shark attack survivor working to save as many sharks as possible from a terrible fate is truly inspiring. Thank them for their massive generosity and continued efforts in volunteering their time to create a better outlook for sharks now and in the future.


Dear Debbie Salamone,

I would like to thank you and all the other members of the Shark Attack Survivors for Shark Conservation group you personally organized. Without all of your group’s hard work and efforts put toward shark conservation, our oceans could be much less diverse and sharks may very well be closer to extinction. The fact that this growing group of people continues to use their personal experiences to make a positive impact for the animal that almost took your own lives is incredibly inspiring. I would like to commend you on your tireless efforts, as well as those working with you, to change the way the world treats sharks.

With over 70 million sharks being hunted and killed each year, this slow-to-mature species can’t last much longer if certain fish trades are allowed to keep up practices such as finning and culling. Taking these issues to the U.S Congress was very beneficial and I sincerely hope that lawmakers all around the world take even more notice of your amazing progress as an environmental conservation group. With your group’s help, I’m sure the shark populations of our oceans will increase considerably and continue to be a vital component in the marine food chain for centuries to come.

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: sousa919 via Arte y Fotografia

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One Comment

  1. If we stay out of their way, they will stay out of ours.

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