Marine Conservation Campaign and Puppet Shows – “Keep Fin Alive”


Mossel Bay Municipality


2017 – 2020


Keep Fin Alive Campaign, Oceans Research and Veldkerjakkers Poppekas

About the initiative:

As apex predators, sharks are vitally important to the healthy functioning of marine ecosystems. Alarmingly, many shark species are critically endangered, with many more species’ numbers continuously declining. Promoting shark conservation is however very difficult as they are not as charismatic as other endangered species. Key to their conservation therefore is in changing perceptions. The “Keep Fin Alive” campaign promoted the importance of conserving sharks and marine environments, through various educational platforms, including puppet shows. The star of the puppet show was “Fin”, a soft (toy) shark on a mission to change the negative perception that people have about sharks, and how this perception is contributing to their alarming decline in numbers. Through the puppet shows the children were taught that sharks are not the monsters that society and the media portray them to be, but that they are intelligent and special animals that have a very important role to play in ocean ecosystems.

Activities undertaken and deliverables:

  • Interactive presentations at nine primary schools reaching 1,400 learners
  • Posters and leaflets on sharks conservation and plastics pollution
  • Development of brand-new puppet theatre production
  • Puppet shows delivered to 10 preschools and home schoolers
  • Presentations at SciFest and National Science Week