MIAMI, Florida -- You've seen them on Discovery Channel's Shark Week, Animal Planet, Nat Geo and the BBC − they are the top shark experts in the world! Now meet them in person for lunch or dinner, learn why they love sharks, and why sharks need protection.
More than 50 of the world's top shark experts are allowing themselves to be auctioned to raise funds for the Shark Research Institute's conservation programs. Up for auction are dinners (or lunches) with the world's foremost shark experts. Each winning bidder has the unique opportunity to "talk shark" face- to-face, one-on-one, with a real authority on sharks.
Celebrities being auctioned include: Wyland, premier ocean artist; Dr. Eugenie Clark, founder of Mote Marine Lab; Dr. Leonard Compagno, the world's top expert on sharks; diving legends Jeremiah Sullivan and Valerie Taylor; Donald Schultz, host of Animal Planet's Wild Recon; award-winning underwater photographers Amos Nachoum, Michael Aw, Matt Potenski; filmmakers Tom Campbell, Jonathan Bird and Christine Bird, Jeff Kurr, Maureen Langevin, Lesley Rochat, Joe Romeiro and Marty Snyderman; shark behaviorist Dr. Erich Ritter; shark bite forensic investigator Ralph Collier who wrote Shark Attacks of the 20th Century from the Pacific Coast of North America; Doc Anes and Stuart Cove; ocean activists Dr. Sylvia Earle, Jupp Kerckerinck, Georgienne Bradley, Stefanie Brendl, Robin Culler, Sonja Fordham, David Helvarg and Nancy McGee; molecular biologist Dr. Jennifer Schmidt and Dr. Debra Canabal; field researchers Mark Marks and Dean Fessler (white sharks), Jeffrey Gallant (Greenland sharks), and Debbie Smith (whale sharks).
Also being auctioned are: Dr. Richard Fernicola author of Twelve Days of Terror, the definitive book on the 1916 shark attacks along the New Jersey shore that was the inspiration for Jaws; marine painter and author Richard Ellis, sculptor Victor Douieb, painter and muralist David Dunleavy; and Jim Toomey, creator of the syndicated comic strip Sherman's Lagoon.
These are just a few of the many "shark celebs" that are being auctioned during the week. Every one of them has a wealth of expertise and stories to share with their highest bidder.
How it works: Bid on a shark expert or celebrity that lives or works nearby, unless you are willing to drive or fly to their location. The winning bidder pays for the celebrity's meal, and may bring guests. (Exceptions are filmmaker Tom Campbell and David Shiffman who will also be taking their bidders out to sea on their boats to meet sharks face-to-face.) Shark Research Institute will introduce each winning bidder to his or her shark celebrity. The two of you then set a mutually convenient date, time and place to get together within 365 days of the close of the auction.
The auction starts today, August 1st at 7 p.m. EST, and will run throughout Shark Week, and close on August 10th. The easiest way to enter the auction is through the link Shark Research Institute's home page at www.sharks.org.
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