It is millions of years since Austria was predominantly covered in ocean. Today the beaches are far away, and so are the thoughts of Austrians about the state of our largest “food reservoir” – the ocean – and its essential top predator, the shark. Sharkproject Austria was set up in 2010 as a national branch of the international organisation. It works towards focussing public opinion on the disastrous state of our oceans and the threatened extinction of sharks – along with the immeasurable consequences that would bring to the marine ecosystem.
Most of us are divers; members of the “blue army”.
The publicity work is gaining ground slowly but surely. Our presence at trade fairs and events, lectures (clubs and schools) and publications is resulting in an increasing public awareness of the issue. Alongside this basic work we use campaigns and actions based on scientific studies and laboratory tests to inform people about the actual threats posed by sharks – such as the worrying accumulation of the nerve toxin methyl mercury in shark products that are on sale in restaurants and fishmongers, the truth about sharks fin soup or the unrealistic expectations of people taking (paramedical) dietary supplements in the form of powdered shark cartilage. Through our strategy we hope to declare Austria a “shark-free zone” in the foreseeable future. It may not be the centre of the universe, but every little helps…
Like all Sharkproject activists we all carry out our work on a voluntary basis and hope to attract the commitment and personal input of many more volunteers.
Our work is financed entirely by patronage, donations and sponsorship, etc. A letter that we received today (12.6. 2014) proves that these funds are used solely for the purpose intended: following meticulous checks of all our documentation we have been awarded the “Certificate of Donation Beneficiary for Environment, Nature and Species Protection measures in line with § 4a Para. 2 Z. 3 lit d ESTG” by the Ministry of Finance, valid from 6.6. 2014!
Vice-President: Alexander Niedermair
Vice-President: Elke Harzhauser
Treasurer: Brigitta Uitz
Secretary: Christine Gstöttner
HR | Alexander Niedermair
Events & Campigns| Elke Harzhauser
Schoolprogramm| Elke Harzhauser, Edith Altrichter
Marketing & PR| Barbara Szvetits
Back Office/Support| Christine Gstöttner