It had been a pretty unexpected end to the year of 2014 indeed. What started off as a casual mention of an upcoming Our Better World voting competition became something I would never have imagined happening.
Once the voting started and I saw how close to the possibility of winning The Dorsal Effect was, something triggered in me to reach out to the like minded for help. Before I knew it, the link share had a life of it’s own and started spreading further than I ever imagined possible and without my having to get it out there all on my own. It was really the work of a community and the power of an international team that loved sharks, that really propelled The Dorsal Effect’s story to 40,000 over views. Am most touched when even local artistes Tay Ke Wei and Daniel Sassoon actually voted and reshared on Facebook, as well as internationally acclaimed French film maker, Bruno Aveillan. Definitely super touched and I wish I could screenshot every single reshare here, there is just too many amazing people to thank, so so many of you I haven’t even had the privilege to meet yet and I wish I could! Please please don’t be offended if I haven’t thanked you for your efforts of voting and calling out for votes or haven’t had the chance to speak to you personally, know that all of you are special for believing in me and for loving sharks with one heart all the same.
Seeing the call for votes and reshares of the voting link of friends and friends of friends and family, of like minded and the impassioned for sharks and oceans, the ones who struggled at building their own dreams and start up too even from those who don’t usually share voting links to call others to vote. It was all very very emotional and touching, AND humbling for me. I never thought 2014 would end with such a bang indeed and with such a strong international community backing me up, I know I cannot stop nor give up no matter how the odds always seem to stack up.
It was most interesting indeed too to hear from eternal optimist friends going “3000 votes only, can catch up one!” in response to losing the lead on votes, and they reminded me of the importance of looking at the many alternative ways to solve problems and take no as just an answer for a go ahead to find other channels instead. I think I have grown too in the course of building The Dorsal Effect, to realise that impossible is really nothing but you just really gotta keep asking and looking. Nothing sounds incredible anymore when you plough forward for an ideal. And the best part of it, you are never really alone, and thank you, all of you, for stubbornly reminding me of that through the month of December! Enjoying the shark facts, setting personal reminders each day to vote, pleading with or “coercing” your kakies (friends) to vote, you made the experience such an enriching and fun one for me too in spite of the emotional high!
So in spite of the big jump to overcome, we still wanted to end the voting competition on a good note with fun, good company, good vegetarian food, and a good ole shark pub quiz. It was amazing how everything came into place in a matter of 2 weeks, thanks to an amazing bunch of friends who believed in me and worked their own magic to support me too. Thank you, dear Shannon for responding to my call of Facebook (AND for your funny ways of calling out for votes on Facebook), Pav for offering up The Hangar and an amazing vegetarian menu so readily and quickly. Sarah and Dan for the amazing trivia questions and slides, Wei Yuet for the beautiful photos of an amazing fun night, Wena for the really cute shark guru and swimmer up stickers for the pub quiz winners and fiance Wilson for technical and emotional (and all the in between) support. Special thanks to the lovely people who showed up too, Doreen, Yixuan, Weng Fai, Vik, Leann, Sumita, Veronica, Xin Min, Sylvia, Victor, Yinn Yinn, Sharon, Sheena with Shannon, Kai and company as well as Sarah’s amazing colleagues and Pav’s amazing friends (sorry I only got Amon’s name ). You are right, Wei Yuet and Vik, it’s important to have fun and it’s a bonus to win and have fun but no one wants to win but not have fun so at least we got one part of it right!
Here’s to an amazing year ahead for marine conservation and sharks, it really heartens me to see articles like that at the end of the year:
And for The Dorsal Effect:
Shark identification and upcycling as well as ecotourism hospitality alternative livelihood for shark fishermen
Work with WCS closer in terms of possibility of transforming TL fish market away for shark fishing with education and awareness.
More converted fish markets around the world
improved living standard for fishermen
more marine focus and outreach in the schools near fish markets