It is the beginning of April and it is mid-afternoon, the heat of the day. But the heat and the sweat are quickly forgotten as soon as restaurant owners welcome us with a big smile on their faces. It is great to see that the local people of Khao Lak recognise the problem with shark fishing and that they can become aware of this, by showing customers they are having no sharks on their menu.
The posters which are carefully made by Khuk Khak Design are handed out by Joy, who is one of the local volunteers willing to help and happily received by the restaurant owners. The posters are a part of the campaign get sharks of the hook and are handed out to certain restaurants that don’t have shark on the menu. A positive reinforcement and a big thumbs up for restaurants who are willing to join.
Curious eyes of customers in the different restaurants look at what we are doing and what kind of posters we are hanging on the walls and on the doors of the places. These posters are to tell that this particular restaurant doesn’t sell shark or doesn’t have shark on the menu. It is to make people, from locals to tourists, aware about the shark fining problem. The campaign is to make people aware of the problem it causes when sharks are taken out from the ocean, how it affects the marine life and eventually the planet, which in turn will be affecting us and our health as human beings.
It is somehow funny to see the shyness of the Thai people when a picture has to be taken for the website. A lady of one of the restaurants quickly hides behind her bar while saying: “Mai Suay! Mai Suay!” which means; ‘I am not looking beautiful now’. After a couple of compliments, the shyness is forgotten and happy pictures are taken.