'Going to the sharks' on Duikvaker

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Shark diving has grown in popularity in recent years. So going to Duikvaker on 6 and 7 February 2016 is also going 'to the sharks'. Sharks are a theme in the Duikvaker Lectures Theater. If you want, you can fill the two days of the fair with lectures and workshops from experts about this fascinating and exciting fish. 

Georgina Wiersma, CEO of Dutch Shark Society is coordinator of the shark theme and self speaker. From her first encounter with a shark, Wiersma has been fascinated by the elegance, the simplicity and the haughty look. “If sharks don't need you, you're nothing to them. And the shark is incredibly important to keep our oceans and reefs healthy.”


Sharks had a bad image. Incorrectly, according to Wiersma. “The image was that sharks are always looking for that human leg… While a shark attack is usually a matter of swimming in the way.” Fortunately, that image is changing. That doesn't save the shark; of the 500 species of sharks, no fewer than 125 species are 'endangered'. The Netherlands has ten species of sharks, only the dogfish is not endangered. Unfortunately, the more than 30 species of sharks and rays in the Netherlands Antilles are all threatened or vulnerable.

shark whisperer

Together with her partner Peter Hoogte, Wiersma founded the Dutch Shark Society, a media platform that bridges the gap between science and the public, and develops initiatives involving photography and film. “Without research no numbers, without numbers no protection.” Divers play an important role in this. The call for protection often comes from divers and they carry out a lot of 'citizen science' just like sport fishermen. For example, divers are involved in recording shark egg cases.

Shark diving can help

On Duikvaker extensive attention is paid to a project of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance and the Dutch Elasmobranch Association. Together with fishermen, scientists and the local community, they protect sharks and rays in the Dutch Caribbean. “Establishing a sustainable and responsible shark diving industry can do a lot in terms of conservation. Then the protection of sharks takes on a local importance; after all, money is made with it.”

Sharks in the Duikvaker Lecture Theater 

In the Lezingen Theater also lectures and workshops on:

  • Taking good shark photos
  • Sharks in the Netherlands
  • Save Our Sharks, Netherlands Antilles campaign
  • Sustainable and responsible diving with sharks
  • The most beautiful shark pictures and most exciting movies
  • What can you do for sharks yourself?
  • Together with Duiken in Beeld: the award ceremony for the best shark or ray photo of visitors
  • Especially for the kids: reading about Save our Sharks, a shark conservation project in the Netherlands Antilles with shark stanley.

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