Event Report: Sharkfest 2016

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The inaugural Sharkfest was held in Bristol on Saturday 24th September and has been hailed as a huge success by both the organisers and those who attended this fabulous event. Organised by the team at Fin Fighters, led by Lou Ruddell, this event invited shark-lovers from all over the country to meet up with like-minded people, listen & watch shark presentations and films and to visit stands that included shark charities, art, experiences and education.

It was a busy day

The event exceeded all expectations with 400 tickets being sold, kids coming in for free, and other visitors to the venue joining in later. In total, over 1000 people came through the doors. This was, truly, an amazing achievement for a first attempt. There is a shark themed film tag-line that springs to mind…’’We are going to need a bigger boat” (or venue in this case!).

Basking Shark Scotland a pirateTalks ran throughout the day and at every single one, there was standing room only. Every stand had groups of people waiting to talk to the exhibitors and every now and then someone dressed as a shark, or pirate, would walk by. It was a brilliant family friendly day-out and simply bubbled with a superb vibe.

Abbie from WiseOceans enthused: “Sharkfest was an excellent event, it was fantastically busy and we thoroughly enjoyed chatting to so many passionate shark and marine conservation fans at our stand. We’re looking forward to the next Sharkfest already!”

The full line up of speakers & exhibitors was as follows:

Prize draw at Frogfish Photography with organiser Lou RuddellThe Shark Trust, Fin Fighters, The Manta Trust, Shark Guardian, Marine Conservation Society, Large Marine Vertebrates Project Philippines, The Gills Club, Frogfish Photography, Sharks4Kids, The Black Fish, Surfers Against Sewage, WiseOceans, Institute of Zoology, David Diley (Of Shark & Man), Jennie Hammond from BBC Shark, The Marine Biological Association, SKYODD, Sharks Teeth Limited, Shark Jewellery by DZN, Oh! Dakuwaqa Comics, Salt Water Life, Basking Shark Scotland, Incredible Oceans, Blue Planet Aquarium, Honolulu, Sharkstuff, Love the Oceans, Becky Jackson Design.

We loved being at an event where the main focus was the conservation of sharks and rays. We were up first to kick off the talks and had reservations that it might not be the best time-slot to speak, as many people may not have arrived yet. In fact, there was a huge queue at the presentation room door and many folk had to stand at the back once they were in. We did not stop chatting for the remainder of the event and left happy (if somewhat exhausted) at the end of the day.

The event was busy throughout the day

And so it was that from 10am until gone 6pm, shark and ocean lovers had the chance to take part in a new and exciting event, all for only £10 (with the kids coming for free). We very much hope to see Sharkfest on the calendar in 2017. See you there!

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

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