By Emily Roden
For the past three years, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation has celebrated March as Ocean Conservation Month. Based in the Cayman Islands, the GHOF team filled this month with tons of activities, such as beach cleanups, lionfish-culling tournaments, cocktail parties and more — all to educate people from the islands about protecting our seas. Unfortunately, most of these events were canceled due to the COVID-19 crisis, but there is still a way to participate in the festivities virtually.
A major component, and the catalyst of Ocean Conservation Month, is “Shark Talk” — an annual initiative sponsored by the Kenneth B. Dart Foundation, which invites every child in the Cayman Islands to watch Guy Harvey documentaries on the big screen, followed by question and answer sessions with conservation experts. Last year, the annual showing of the Guy Harvey documentary This is Their Ocean: Sea of Life attracted over 1,000 kids from all over the Cayman Islands to come and learn about marine conservation. This year, the annual documentary showing was canceled, but people are still able to celebrate ocean conservation by watching this year’s documentary Stingray City: A Guy Harvey Expedition on Amazon. This documentary focuses on Stingray City, located in the Cayman Islands, which is one of the most beloved animal interaction sites in the world. While people from all over the planet visit this location, many don’t know the measures taken to protect the rays within this multi-million dollar tourist attraction. This documentary follows Dr. Guy Harvey in his conservation efforts to research and protect these animals, inspiring all to take measures to protect our sea.
While people were unable to physically participate in this year’s Ocean Conservation month, the team is still on track to celebrate Ocean Conservation month next year and is exploring more virtual options in preparation for more pandemic shutdowns.