How do you end generations of shark fishing that makes families just enough to feed themselves? You don’t, you replace it. ‘Project Hiu’, Hiu being the Indonesian word for Shark, is an initiative to provide alternative incomes to fishermen in one of the largest shark fisheries in Indonesia.
The aim of Project Hiu is not to convert or condemn, rather slowly introduce opportunity to a community that has only ever known shark fishing. By hiring shark fishing boats to engage in tourism activities, we offer an alternative income that simultaneously and effectively protects sharks. Project Hiu is founded on the recognition that the very solution to saving sharks, lay with the men raised to kill them.
We also address the need for our presence to benefit the entire community and not just a few fishermen. Giving incentive to a whole village to choose tourism over fishing, we will re-investment project capital, that in turn will aid community development projects such as: waste management initiatives, education programs and boat refurbishing.
Indonesia is the world’s largest exporter of shark fins; the shark fin industry is responsible for the death of between 88 million to 100 million sharks every year. This small village and the fishermen we work with represent far more than a simple project, they represent the preservation of connecting oceans, and an opportunity to drive a wedge between the hard working fishermen and the foreign buyers who profit from them.
Shark fishermen are the villains of most stories, but the hero’s of ours. We are at the same time introducing the mindset that tourism is not only possible for them, but also more profitable. These men deserve an income free from the threat of prosecution, and free of weeks away from their families. They deserve a secure future that doesn’t rely on the fishing of these apex predators, Project Hiu was establish to empower other to change that.