Shark Trust at the Birmingham Dive Show
National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham
13 -14 October 2007
Cousteau, shark photography, cage diving, European Shark Week – welcome to this year’s shark-filled Birmingham Dive Show.
The Shark Trust was, once again, present at one of the UK's largest dive expositions spreading awareness about sharks and engaging members of the diving community in shark conservation.
The Trust had a large presence at the show comprising the awareness and sales stand, a Big Draw event ‘The 3D Undersea Megacreativity’ and the announcement and gallery of the winning images in the ‘Sharks in Focus’ photography competition.
The awareness and sales stand was refreshed by the addition of new posters, leaflets and merchandise making the stand a very professional affair indeed. Manned admirably by a team of enthusiastic and dedicated staff members and volunteers the Shark Trust gained nearly 30 new members, got over 1500 people to sign the ‘Every Fin Counts’ anti-shark finning petition, sold a tonne of sharky merchandise and garnered nearly 1000 entries into our prize draw!
Northern Diver, very generously, provided a 5 megapixel camera with underwater housing as the first prize in the draw and the lucky winner was Chris Potter of Halling in Kent.
Across the aisle from the awareness stand was the Shark Trust’s Big Draw stand where we were attempting a recreate the best dive site ever in the middle of the NEC. Supported by the wonderful people at Project AWARE and starting with a blank sheet of paper, members of the public, both young and old, used their artistic talents to spectacular effect.
Over the course of the two day show hundreds of people drew their favourite sharks and undersea creatures, coloured in sharks, made pipecleaner animals and spread glitter pretty much throughout the whole Dive Show. Not only raising awareness as to the fabulous diversity of sharks and the threats faced by them it also gave people the opportunity to express their appreciation of the marine environment and some weary parents a break from some enthusiastic children.
Over the past few months the Shark Trust, with Diver magazine, have been running a shark photography competition and the Dive Show saw the winner of the overall prize announced and a gallery of some of the winning and highly commended images.
There were over 350 images submitted to the competition, all of them demonstrating the power that sharks have to capture the imagination. Andrew Bellamy was the overall winner with his picture of an Oceanic Whitetip with pilot fish taken at the Elphinstone Reef in the Red Sea. Andrew will be jetting off on a dive vacation in the Maldives thanks to the considerate folk at Euro-Divers and Barefoot Traveller.
The individual category winners were:
The Photo-Comp Gallery
Perfect Calm – Terry Goss
Challenging Times – Timo Weber
Quirky Encounters - Peter Verhoog
Stormy Seas – Sabrina Belloni
Public Vote – James Lea
These all get furnished with a great prize from those benevolent people at Mares, Suunto, O'Three, Ocean Optics, Tony Backhurst and Fuji. Thanks very much to the sponsors and well done to the winners!