StAR Project – An Innovative Conservation Initiative
One of our favorite issues in the world is marine conservation. We spend a lot of time in the ocean and are in awe of all its inhabitants. We are proud to work on environmental projects whenever we have the opportunity. One such project we have been working on over the last 8 months is the StAR Project by ReShark.
The StAR Project is a collective effort by conservation groups, aquariums, and the Indonesian government to reintroduce native shark species to Indonesian waters. Sadly, many once common species of sharks are now almost non existent in many areas of the world. One charismatic species that was once common in Indonesia is Stegostoma tigrinum, commonly known as either the Leopard or Zebra shark. These shy sharks are known from all across the Indo Pacific region but are an endangered species. In many areas where they were once common, they are no longer found.
Raja Ampat – The StAR Project First Destination
Raja Ampat is one area where these sharks were once found in abundance. However, due to fishing pressure in the 20th century their population dwindled. However, for 20 years this area has been a successful Marine Protected Area with active patrols. This is where the StAR Project comes in. The goal of the StAR Project is to repopulate Leopard sharks in the area by sourcing eggs from aquariums throughout the world. Two purpose built aquariums have been built in the central and north areas of Raja in order to house the eggs. The plan is to release up to 500 leopard sharks in the next 10 years in order to kickstart the redevelopment of the species. If you would like to read more about the program you can read all about it on the ReShark page.
StAR Project Media Partner
Indo Pacific Films is happy to be the media partner for the ReShark program. Our team as accompanied the ReShark team throughout the process off building, receiving eggs, monitoring baby sharks and finally releasing the young into the wild. January 2023 marked the first time ever that one of these sharks has been released into the wild. Our team was able to capture photographs and footage of the event from the beach, underwater, and in the air. There were a total of three sharks released so far and more will follow soon.
We are looking forward to capturing the ongoing process of these incredible collaborative effort. The aim is to not stop with just leopard sharks; other endangered shark and ray species will be reintroduced throughout the world. For more photos and video of this amazing project please check out our Indo Pacific Films Instagram Page for more. For more of our recent projects stay tuned and bookmark our Blog page.