Conservation Project Grants
There sometimes just isn’t enough time in the day to run an Aquarium and deliver hands on conservation projects; therefore we decide to create National Aquarium Limited. National Aquarium Limited is a sister charity to the National Marine Aquarium, that makes small grants available for interesting projects that will make a difference. The funds for the grants come from ticket sales, so this is yet another way that our fantastic visitors can help protect the marine environment and is also a chance for us to give back too.
This ensures a wider variety of conservation projects have the funding they need without impacting heavily on Aquarium staff time and resources.
The projects that we fund may be science-based but could equally be based around arts or drama – indeed, the more innovative the better, as long as they make a contribution to raising awareness of the marine environment.
The National Marine Aquarium supports an array of conservation projects around the world.
Here are a few of our current ongoing projects.
Zoological Society of London
‘Let’s Work for Wildlife’ – www.zsl.org
Working with the Zoological Society of London the National Marine Aquarium has aided in protecting scalloped hammerhead sharks located near Mikimoto Island. During 2008 they were placed on the “globally endangered” species list and their population is said to have declined by over 95% in past 30 years! The reason for this is caused by over-fishing in their natural habitat. Working with the aquarium the Zoological Society educates locals about how to treat the sea life on their coastlines. The Society has a key goal is informing fishermen where they should not cast their nets.
Marine Megafauna Foundation
“Dedicated to increasing local and global awareness about the wonders of our research subjects and the critical threats they face today, so that together we can protect their future.” – www.marinemegafauna.org
Sharing our views on conservation through engagement the Marine Megafauna Foundation works hard to drive sustainable tourism as a whale shark conservation tool. ‘Megafauna’ are large marine species such as sharks, rays, marine mammals and turtles. We have aided in the research and training of their staff and volunteers. As well as successfully training guides for snorkel/boat trips in Mozambique.
Galapagos Conservation Trust
“Since its discovery 175 years ago, the Galapagos bullhead shark has been almost ‘forgotten’ from science”. – Galapagosconservation.org.uk
Currently for August 2016 our latest grant comes in the form of a special hunt for the lost sharks of Galapagos. The conservation group have many key questions that haven’t been answered just yet. They are currently working on a photo-identification tool. This will allow anyone to submit images of the bullhead for research purposes. With all this aided research and support flooding in across the world we may just find the answers!