Local pair fight for shark protection
BYRON Shire residents Tristan Bayer and Mia Forrest are taking their message about the plight of shark populations to the world.
Buoyed by a recent close encounter with retired senator and Greens leader Bob Brown at the Byron Bay Writer's Festival, the pair are hoping to enlist the support of locals as volunteers and specialist interns to assist with their community outreach campaign.
"Fin-Free is a grassroots global campaign that aims to educate the community about the plight of shark populations worldwide and empower people with local solutions," Ms Forrest said.
"(We) have led successful, policy-changing campaigns in the US mainland, Hawaii, Canada and the Northern Mariana Islands, and are now enhancing our presence in Australia to call for policy changes to ban the sale, possession or trade of shark fins."
Tristan Bayer, co-founder of Fin-Free's parent organisation, United Conservationists, is now a resident of Byron Shire and is seeking to expand his team of "creactivists" to represent the east coast communities in making Australia Fin-Free.
Earlier this month Mr Bayer and Ms Forrest caught Mr Brown's Life After the Senate forum at Bangalow A & I Hall where he took the time to lend his support to their campaign."
Bob was more than happy to support the Fin Free mainland campaign, posing for a photograph with the international shark symbol 'Fin Head' to add to the growing community of shark protectors who are making life choices to prioritise what is important, and to do what we can to save the oceans and in turn, ourselves," Ms Forrest said.
"I am a 24 year old Byron Shire native (having) grown up on my family's farm here in Federal and I am now preparing to embark on a mission to do what I can to bring awareness and action to help save of one of the world's oldest, most important and fascinating creatures from extinction."