TEAM | MADISON STEWART, BOAT CREW (Shark fisherman) & DRIVER
Standard Trip | AUD$2,550 / USD$1,700
Standard Trip | 10 participants (max)
Age | 18 years (min)
Fitness Level | Moderate
Activities | Free diving, snorkeling, village visits, boating, hiking, visit to shark market & surfing.
In 2018, I travelled with a small team to one of Indonesia’s largest shark fisheries with one intention, to befriend a shark fisherman and use his boat for tourism. The idea came to me after my many visits to the area to document the world famous shark fishing that occurs there. The fishermen are not large commercial businessmen, but artisanal locals, struggling to survive in a world where shark populations are declining. They are making an average of $150AUD for two weeks of shark fishing, yet the fins from the sharks they bring back are marked up extreme amounts to be exported overseas.
My project was successful, we befriended a shark fisherman who is the first of I hope many to become part of my team. He took us amazing places and although we were his first tourists, he wanted to know when we would be back. To him our presence meant an opportunity for an income free from the threat of prosecution for illegal fishing and weeks at sea away from his family. In no way have I stopped shark fishing in this area, or even the boats we use from fishing sharks in our absence, but we have begun to introduce an alternative income. With each trip we learn more and make progress on the effectiveness or distracting the boats from fishing sharks. We have successfully begun to show the fishermen how valuable a shark and a reef is alive, and begun a movement that will one day not be a choice, but in a world where sharks are disappearing, a necessity.
These trips are not just a way for you to see the shark fin trade first hand, but facilitate real change and be a part of a movement to save sharks with direct action, and at the same time engage in helping the community and the next generation. We will look for shark nurseries in the area, explore new sites, get comfortable on shark fishing boats. As well as visits to see the shark market where they fin and process sharks, you will see some of the most amazing and healthy reef. You will get to explore a part of the island barely witnessed by tourists, all from shark fishing boats. I will be with you each step of the way to help bring you into the project and make sure you get the most out of the trip.