Sanctuary! Building the sea creatures we want protected

On 19 March 2023, 150 local community members met at Bondi, with buckets and spades and sculpted Grey Nurse Sharks, squid, turtles, starfish, a Humpback and Southern Right Whale, amongst others. We wanted to draw attention to the much loved marine animals that are currently at risk, especially the Grey Nurse Shark.

‘Thank you!!! We had an amazing start of our day! Will definitely do this more often. I felt so connected with the community. We were all busy in the heat, drawing attention for the greater cause. I felt very content and exhausted at the end. This event was a huge success!!!‘ Event participant

Patron Valerie Taylor and Blue World Ambassador Emma Pask

Many thanks to Valerie Taylor and Emma Pask, the Blue World team, Bondi Surf Club, the Ocean Lovers crew, Bondi Amateur Swimming Club, Caroline Kronenburg, Karsten Jarke, Claire Kemperman, Bazz and Thomas, and other participants.

The Grey Nurse Shark is critically endangered and needs sanctuary.

Our event highlighted the inaugural Grey Nurse Shark Census, involving 23 commercial dive operators and numerous recreational divers. Despite being the world’s first protected shark, the Grey Nurse Shark is critically endangered in NSW, as it desperately needs habitat protection and higher fish stocks, free from fishers and fishing tackle, protection from shark nets. The census included most of the known aggregation sites from Wolf Rock in Queensland to Montague Island in NSW. Only 247 individual sharks were found- two at South Bondi.

The census will be conducted several times a year, a Citizen Science project that will help build a picture of the migration patterns of our remaining sharks, including their mating and pupping sites. It will also build a voice for the protection of these precious, maligned animals. The shark is very important for keeping our eco-systems in balance. It is also important to the Dive community and brings millions of dollars to the tourism industry every year.

This is an initiative of Captain Gordon Scott, supported by Valerie Taylor, the Dive industry, Volvo Ocean Lovers Festival, and Blue World. Sand Sculpture organised by Blue World, who proudly support the Valerie Taylor Ocean Prizes.

The Marine Sand Sculpture Competition was organised as part of the Volvo Ocean Lovers Festival

Support Bondi’s Grey Nurse Shark ‘Saving Norman’ campaign here

Join the NETS OUT NOW campaign here!