Read the open letter from Shark Savers Executive Director, Michael Skoletsky regarding the merger.
WildAid and Shark Savers have announced their intent to merge, combining two of the world’s most successful shark conservation programs. Shark Savers’ programs and name will join WildAid’s portfolio of programs to protect endangered wildlife species including elephants, rhinos, and tigers; combining the complementary capabilities of the two organizations and increasing the efficiency of operations.
“WildAid and Shark Savers have significantly reduced shark fin soup consumption in China and, most recently, encouraged protection for highly vulnerable mantas at the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES),” said Peter Knights, Executive Director of WildAid. “By combining the efforts of our supporters under one program we firmly believe that we can push shark conservation past the tipping point, saving millions of sharks.”
Shark Savers’ highly acclaimed ‘I’m FINished with Fins’ campaign launched in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan earlier this year with WildAid, National Geographic, and World Wildlife Fund as partners. Later this year, WildAid will launch the ‘I’m FINished with Fins’ campaign in China; building on its ongoing campaign to stem consumption of endangered wildlife.
“We are excited to join WildAid, a highly respected 4-star charity, at a time when it’s vital for us to focus resources and talents to protect the most vulnerable species,” said Michael Skoletsky, Shark Savers’ Executive Director. “We know that we can count on our supporters to join WildAid’s efforts to stop the demand for shark fin soup.”
Skoletsky, together with Shark Savers’ Mary O’Malley, will join WildAid’s Board of Directors and Shark Savers’ Board Chair Wendy Benchley and Board Members Sue Chen and Ellen K. Pikitch will join WildAid’s International Advisory Board.
In addition to the ‘I’m FINished with Fins’ campaign, Shark Savers’ SharksCount citizen science program and the overall Shark Savers grassroots campaign to protect sharks and rays will continue within the context of WildAid’s Shark program. Shark Savers’ Shark and Ray Sanctuaries program will combine with WildAid’s Marine Protection Program.
The pending merger is subject to regulatory approval.