Sharks are not often considered to be friendly, lovely creatures! They don’t have the friendliest of reputations. However, they are are an important part of the biodiversity of marine life. Unfortunately sharks are being hunted and also being caught accidentally and so their numbers are reducing. They are sought for their meat and for their fins.
Sharks around Cape Verde are also under threat due to fishing. These creatures are being caught even when they are not the main target. In addition, some travel companies are marketing Cape Verde as a destination for shark fishing.
There are, however, still a few locations where these animals can feed and breed in safety. One such refuge in Cape Verde is around the island of Brava. Here Flora and Fauna International have been working in partnership with Biflores Association for two years in protecting whale, tiger and hammerhead sharks and educating fishermen.
Gradually attitudes are being changed and education is teaching fishermen how to handle sharks that are caught accidentally. People will also be encouraged to fish in different locations where these animals are under less threat. It is hoped that further protection will be achieved on other Cape Verde islands, as support increases for this work.