Return to the world's largest and most important trade fair for boating and water sports

4. February, 2024

BOOT Düsseldorf 2024

BOOT, the world's largest and most important trade fair for boating and water sports, took place again in Düsseldorf from 20 to 28 January 2024. A great team from all three national organisations (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) worked together for the nine days of the trade fair.

BOOT and more

Our participation in BOOT Düsseldorf is already a tradition. The cohesion of all three countries is also a tradition, as it is not easy to organise a team for such a long trade fair. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the helpers, each of whom took more than one day to help Sharkproject. The atmosphere in the team at both stands was fantastic!

At both stands? Yes, you read that right: In addition to our own classic merchandise stand, we received an offer from the German Ocean Foundation to set up a number of play stations in the "Love your ocean" area, where we could introduce visitors young and old to the seven senses of sharks.

The classic exhibition stand

In addition to our information material and experienced Sharkproject employees, visitors were also able to purchase our merchandise here. A special shark-highlight this year was the upcycling section, where we offered cushions made from our old Haitanic banners. The bags (from mobile phone cases to shoulder bags) made from banners from old campaigns were also very popular. Because these unique pieces are something very special!

The brand new UPPS books (not just for little shark researchers) also sold like hot cakes.

The large foam cubes the size of seat cubes were also a particular eye-catcher. These are printed all around with shark motifs. You could use them to roll the dice to answer the quiz questions and win lots of shark knowledge.

Our sales team was working non-stop, especially at the weekends there were hardly any breaks. We would like to thank all visitors for their great interest.

Sharkproject at"Love your Ocean"

This space, which we were invited to share with other NGOs and associations by the German Ocean Foundation, was used for interaction and learning. Many school classes visited us here by appointment. Individual trade fair visitors were also magically attracted by our model of a female shark, whose left half of the body provided insights into the organs. Using this model, we were able to explain the teeth, cartilage skeleton and reproduction (there was also a uterus with two young animals) to interested visitors.

At the touch station, visitors could feel the difference between fish skin (a rubber fish prepared with baby oil) and shark skin (sandpaper) in a blind test. Right next to it, we demonstrated how the lateral line organ works with the help of a compressed air gun. We continued with the sense of hearing: using headphones, we played an audio file in which the heartbeat of a fish could first be heard. This is quickly masked by noise pollution in the form of ship and boat engines, trawls, jet skis, dredgers, drills and, as a finale, an explosion.

However, our biggest shark highlight was the station with the Lorenzinian ampoules: Our hobbyist Gernot Grabosch had equipped a small hammerhead shark with five compasses. Four fish were hidden on a "sand surface", which consisted of a board with 12 wooden discs. As soon as the shark swam over the "prey buried in the sand", the compasses were triggered. However, there was obviously no fish under one of the four tiles. We were also able to demonstrate the sharks' sense of sight: They can perceive ultraviolet light. With the help of a UV lamp, even the last fish became visible, proving that sharks never make mistakes when searching for prey.

Presentations und Networking

We also had the pleasure of introducing visitors to the world of sharks with presentations on the big stage and the Love your ocean stage. We would like to thank our speakers Frank Trendlkamp, Iris Ziegler and Ana-Lucia Furtado Soares for their comprehensive insights on the following topics: Angola Elasmo project, threats to sharks, stroke of genius, importance of sharks, fascination of sharks, diving with sharks, Schillerlocke, mako sharks and overfishing.

We are delighted with the incredible number of contacts we were able to make at the trade fair! Of course, we didn't just wait at the stand, some of our members were out and about in the diving-related halls of the trade fair, meeting old acquaintances and new friends among the NGOs, tour operators and diving equipment suppliers.

Our digital contact book is a conglomeration of interested parties for presentations, potential partners and future donors. We will stay tuned for you and will of course report on any new projects that develop!

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