PHILIPSBURG – Last week, the well-known Dutch Television show “Bestemming” was on St. Maarten to film and document Nature Foundation’s activities that are funded by the Dutch National Postcode Lottery.
The Dutch television episode will mainly showcase the work done by the Foundation and the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance in their “Save our Sharks” project, which aims to protect and manage sharks around the Dutch Caribbean Islands as well as their coral restoration activities.
Dutch celebrity and Postcode Lottery Ambassador Winston Gerschtanowitz visited the Nature Foundation and took part in the shark project to show the public the importance of these creatures. “It was unbelievable to be so surprised by the beautiful underwater world of St. Maarten. I now fully understand how important, valuable and worthy the work is that environmental protectors do in the Dutch Caribbean. Their love for sharks was very impressive to see!’’ said Gerschtanowitz, who is a presenter on the show.
On St. Maarten, the film crew from Endemol Shine Group filmed for almost three days with the Nature Foundation, following all the work they do for shark conservation and research including scuba diving and tagging sharks to find out about their movement patterns. The film crew also visited the Foundation’s coral nursery in attempt to restore coral reefs. The crew also learned about St. Maarten’s environmental issues such as the serious impact of the landfill and sewage input to the marine life and environment.
During the rough days at sea the team successfully caught two Tiger Sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier), including a 2.6m male, which was given the name “Winston” due to his shark tagging efforts during the day.
Gerschtanowitz also scuba dived with sharks and showcased their gentle nature and that the animal should not be feared. “I did not scuba dive for a long time, however, I felt totally comfortable diving with St Maarten sharks, it was an awesome experience to remember for a lifetime!”
The Dutch Postcode Lottery episode will be broadcasted on the Dutch Television channel RTL4 in the new season of “Bestemming” in September or October this year.