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During the weekend of May 3-4, Shark Angels were in Tampa, Fla., for Shark Con, an event aimed at raising awareness for shark conservation. The weekend-long event consisted of various booths and exhibitions from groups nationwide and a wide range of speakers, of which Shark Angels’ own Julie Andersen was a part of, speaking that Saturday.

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At the Shark Angels booth, kids were able to cut out and color their own shark to add to the interactive booth, which hoped to gain enough colored sharks to demonstrate how many are killed worldwide in two minutes. Shark Angels was able to surpass that 380 goal and got over 400 sharks on their exhibit, which were colored by kids and adults alike, including famed National Geographic explorer-in-residence Sylvia Earle. A photojournalist from the Tampa Bay Times noticed the booth and tweeted about the Angels, a big plus for the organization’s conservation outreach.

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On hand were Jaclyn and her girls from the Shark Angels club, who all did an amazing job working and managing the booth and collecting donations for Shark Angels. Along with the colorful sharks, the booth featured Shark Angels merchandise, which ranged from Shark Angels and Fin Free t-shirts, stickers and plush sharks.

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While showcasing the exhibit and the organization, Shark Angels took the opportune moment to introduce Team Jawsome, the new monthly donor program. And along with valuable monetary donations, Shark Angels got 200 signatures for the Florida Shark Fin bill. Unfortunately, the bill was never given a hearing in the house, and as such it died. The bill did make it to the floor in the Senate, which is great sign, and Shark Angels is planning on working to get the bill passed next session.

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Despite the loss of the bill, Shark Con was a major success for Shark Angels and a perfect opportunity to highlight the threats that are facing them and the conservation initiatives underway to protect them.

Written by Chase Martin

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