Taking up fight: Stramrood grows fins

12 September 2016 - 10:48 By Yolisa Mkele

In the movies, as in real life, the appearance of a shark fin on the surface is not a good thing. Coupled with melodramatic music, it signals that someone will be served as Homo sapiens tartare.A shark fin on land, however, is nothing short of charitable. At least this is what extreme swimmer Ryan Stramrood will try to prove tomorrow.In support of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA's #GoWildforWildlife campaign, Stramrood will spend his day, in meetings, dropping kids at school et al, with a shark fin strapped to his back."The campaign is about raising awareness of ocean wildlife and the threats to it. How I translated that was by saying I'd wear a shark fin for the whole day," said Stramrood.Thankfully the fin Stramrood will be wearing is not real.Participants to the campaign can choose one of four challenges to take up and none requires the ability to swim across the English channel.For Stramrood picking a shark was a decision based on a combination of reverence and fear."As swimmers sharks are something we are petrified of but people underestimate the kind of threat they [sharks] are facing. I thought by wearing a shark fin and getting people to ask why, I could bring more attention to the problems in the ocean," he said.The main characters in Jaws, however, are not his only concern."There are so many issues facing our oceans. From overfishing to the over-pollution of our oceans with those microbeads you find in shampoo all the way to what kind of fish you order in a restaurant," he said.To participate in the campaign you need not follow Stramrood's lead. There are a number of challenges to participate in depending on your level of commitment to the cause. Some of them include:The tattoo challenge in which one gets permanently inked with something wildlife-themed;Become one with the wild, which entails spending the day at work in a Wild Onesie;Dare your friends to trek, wherein you and your mates walk a minimum of 10km dressed as a wild animal of your choosing and being sure to let everyone know what you are doing; andIn dare to be dared, you create a cause and then every time a supporter donates to your cause, they can submit a dare and a panel of experts will decide which is the best then set a challenge for you. To find out more or donate visit www.givengain.com/ap/strammie

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