The Dorsal Effect

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The Dorsal Effect: Providing alternative livelihood to shark fishermen for shark conservation

Lombok, Indonesia
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Sharks can be saved from bowls of shark fin soup through education and awareness. But what if something more could be done on the supply side as well? The Dorsal Effect provides alternative equitable income for shark fishermen through education and sustainable ecotourism.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if sharks could be saved by turning all shark fishermen to more lucrative and sustainable means of income that is education as well?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Depletion of shark populations in the oceans. Overfishing of sharks.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We give ecotourism job of boat captaincy and snorkel guiding to shark fishermen so they make alternative income away from shark fishing that sustains them well and is not as dangerous as shark hunting as well. Sharks get save, shark fishermen get saved from the shark fishing exploitation as well.


Singapore International Foundation Young Social Entrepreneurs Award 2013, YSEALI Seeds of the Future Grant 2015
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

When more shark fishermen are taken away from shark hunting, less sharks are caught. When shark fishermen are given a more viable alternative source of livelihood that does that keep them away from their family for weeks on end and does not put them in danger of the ocean threats, they have better standards of living. When shark fishermen are paid better, they can afford to send their children to school. When shark fishermen become responsible snorkelling guides, they learn about the importance of the oceans educate the tourists about it too. Environment around snorkelling sites we visit get preserved when we practice responsible tourism through trash pick up and no marine creatures harrasment or touching.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Our converted shark fisherman Suhardi is totally off shark hunting and has a happier life making more money from ecotourism with The Dorsal Effect. He can afford to send his children to school and enjoys the easier lifestyle of being a snorkelling guide as well. In the future, The Dorsal Effect hopes to convert more shark markets around the world and make responsible tourism for shark conservation an international catchphrase and an ideal all tourists would work towards.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Finding more ocean related alternatives that are eco friendly like upcycling ocean trash found, getting tourists to be a part of ocean education programs with the local schools and children.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

In terms of finances, with increased, tourists over the last 2 years, The Dorsal Effect is slowly climbing towards breakeven point. With more funds pumped in, we have the resources to seek out new markets where sharks are hunted to be converted.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Not that I know of at all

Founding Story

Having been a school teacher for 7 years and 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. Triggered by an intense experience while swimming alongside a whale shark in Exmouth, Australia, back in 2011, Kathy decided she wanted to do something so that future generations could still see sharks alive rather than extinct and confined to just picture books. After learning about the shark fishing and finning situation and the demand for shark fin soup, Kathy started volunteering with Sharksavers then started TDE


One local partner in Lombok. With more funds pumped in to hire, I believe I can attract the right good people with relevant expertise who have been reaching out to me and volunteering with me but I whom I have not been able to afford to pay.
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