World Ocean Day at TRACC

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June 8 marked World Ocean Day.

It’s a day to celebrate all the oceans and everything they do for the planet.

There were beach and ocean cleanups, fundraisers and coral plantings.

TRACC decided they would celebrate this day by building an artificial reef to place in the waters near Pom Pom Island.

shark 1

However this particular reef was going to be different from all the others.

This reef was going to be in the shape of a shark.

Why?

Because sharks haven’t been in the waters around Pom Pom Island for many years now. The destruction of the reefs and over fishing have caused their numbers to plummet.

Now that TRACC has been rebuilding the reef and bringing other fish back into the area, they hope that sharks will soon make their way back too.

Until then, TRACC has decided to make their own shark.

shark 2

As scary as they may seem to humans, sharks are extremely important to our oceans. They are the regulators of the waters, and without them our waters would become very unbalanced. Possibly even to the point of no return.

Hopefully when divers and snorkelers see this reef, it will remind them of just how important sharks are to the planet.

Dino, one of TRACCs permanent staff, has been working hard building the cage of the shark out of wire since I arrived here 3 weeks ago.

And I must say……it looks amazing!

shark 3

Now that the cage is finished, we have to cover it in cement and build a base structure before finally placing it in the water.

I hope I’ll get to see the final product before I have to leave Pom Pom not only because this will be the first artificial reef I have been able to help build, but also because this reef holds a very special place in my heart.

shark 4

June 8 also happens to be my mother’s birthday, and when I mentioned this to some of the staff here at TRACC, they suggested we honor my mother with the reef somehow.

That’s when I came up with the idea to name the shark LuWana after my mother.

Now her name will be known by all whom visit Pom Pom Island!

LuWana the shark will be here to welcome visitors and volunteers for years to come. It makes me smile every time I think about it.

Be sure to keep checking in to get updates on the progress of LuWana the shark.

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