Kathy was a school teacher for 7 years and after constantly advocating for her students to do good throughout her teaching career, Kathy decided to walk the talk and stepped out of the teaching profession to start The Dorsal Effect in 2013. The Dorsal Effect works on the supply side of the shark fins trade and works with fishermen in Lombok, Indonesia to encourage them to switch their livelihoods from being shark fishermen to being snorkelling guides for ecotourism activities.
In this talk, Kathy will share about her experience working in Lombok over the last four years and explore the question of whether responsible ecotourism could be the answer to overfishing of sharks. She will explore the possibilities of alternative livelihoods and the complexities of the shark hunting chain and what The Dorsal Effect is doing and hopes to do.
The dorsal fins are one of the fins commonly taken by shark fishermen for export for soup, but the word “dorsal” also means back, and since Kathy wanted to end shark fishing on the supply side of the chain by providing the shark fishermen with ecotourism as an alternative source of livelihood, it came to mean the work on the back end of the shark fishing and finning trade as well, hence, The Dorsal Effect, ie, the back end effect of positive change for shark. Conservation of shark through conversion of shark fishermen hiring them to take tourists out for snorkeling boat trips instead that set off from the very fish market that dead sharks are hauled in daily.