Posted by: Celine Cousteau | August 8, 2013

The Galapagos with Contiki Holidays and Shark Savers

I don’t think there is anyone who has not heard of the Galapagos and hasn’t dreamed a little. It is a mystical places made famous by Darwin and perhaps even popular in part by writers, travelers, and filmmakers. It does not disappoint. When you are there, you are IN those quintessential photos of marine iguanas sunning their hides on jagged lava rock, sea lions lying on moored fishing boats, and giant tortoises languishing about, slowly, slooooowly, ad-van-cing…

Me diving near schooling fish at Kicker Rock.

Me diving near schooling fish at Kicker Rock.

As Contiki Holiday’s sustainability partner, I last went to the Galapagos with a group of travelers, media, and trade representatives who joined us for a special reason beyond this first layer of awesomeness. They came with us to explore a marine conservation project Contiki has chosen to support called Sharks Count, created by the non-profit Shark Savers.

The great media group brought by Contiki to the Galapagos.

The great media group brought by Contiki to the Galapagos.

“Shark Savers works to improve protections for sharks.  Increasing protections for sharks requires information about local populations. SharksCount seeks to close an important data gap by enabling divers to act as citizen scientists for sharks. Over time, these sightings will provide essential information about local shark population trends with the potential of improving protections for sharks.”

It is wonderful to see people discover nature in a more in depth way, with greater understanding of the importance of what they are looking at. To be hands on with conservation also gives us all an opportunity to not only better understand the project, but it gives us an increased sense of participation and responsibility. There’s nothing like experiential education to really get a point across. And let’s not omit that it’s just really cool! My hope is each one of the travelers not only went home with a feeling of inspiration and a desire to do a bit more when they return home…but actually did something with that inspiration…perhaps inspiring others around them or contributing to Sharks Count or another cause!

CVA-7673.72

Contiki divers supporting Sharks Count.

STAY TUNED-  we will be posting our video on this great adventure before too long. Subscribe to my YouTube channel, like my FB page to get added videos and updates, or follow me on Twitter: @celinecousteau

All photos by Çapkin van Alphen for CauseCentric Productions (501c3)

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