Mae, The Little Hammerhead Shark
Nakawe Project was borne out of several volunteer patrol missions to Cocos Island, wherein our Founder and Executive Director, Regi Domingo witnessed beforehand the atrocities being done to the wildlife away from the public eye. It has been known for years that Cocos Island had been the hunting ground for illegal fishermen targetting shark species to feed an increasing demand in the South East Asian Region. Ironically, it was also declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, years before, and one of the best dive sites in the world for its biodiversity. And we firmly believe that these protected areas should not all go to waste.
Nakawe Project started with educational outreach projects to enlighten the world about the importance of sharks and their role in our ecosystem. And part of that enlightenment would include our children, whom we believe will be the key for change. We then thought about havin
g a mascot that would appeal not only to the masses, but also embody the colourful vibrance of the youth. In 2014, Regi, with the help of Spanish artist Joan Pau Pugés Allegue brainstormed for days to come up with many animated characters including what would now be our iconic mascot for Nakawe Projects Educational Division, Mae, the Baby Hammerhead Shark whom we fondly named after Regi’s mother, Maria Angeles Esgleas. (MAE)
Three years since her creation, Mae has travelled the world including hotspots like Mexico, Spain and Costa Rica to educate the children and let them know about the sad plight of sharks, especially neonates and juveniles just like her. And to simplify the cause and effect of shark fishing, we have been working on a children book, titled, “Mae, The Little Hammerhead Shark”, written in both English and Spanish, by one of our educators, Nuria Abad Fortuny. The story will be concise and entertaining.
It includes a lesson plan with interactive activities that teachers can use for their respective classes to discuss what the children learned from the book. Partnered with a viewing of our Documentary, Game Over Fishing, Directed by Roy Kimhi, Edited by Ze év Girsh and Produced by Filmmaker Regi Domingo, it broadens this educational outreach by breaching language barriers that seem to hinder the process of understanding.