SWIMMERS have been causing a bit of a splash by deciding to attach shark fins to their backs.

Forty water-loving friends and family have been wearing the unusual gear at Manley Mere and West Kirby marine lake in preparation for the Great North Swim on Lake Windermere on Saturday June 18.

The swimmers, whose number include partners Clive Mills and Julie Greenswood from Curzon Park, Chester, will be completing the one-mile course with fins on their backs to draw attention to marine conservation including issues such as shark finning.

This is the removal and retention of shark fins and the discarding of the rest of the fish. Shark finning takes place at sea so the fishers only have to transport the fins.

Shark finning has increased over the past decade largely due to the increasing demand for shark fins for Chinese shark fin soup.

Louise Attwood from the group said: “Many of the participants of this event are doing the swim for the first time having little to no experience of open water swimming.

“So if you are wandering around West Kirby marine lake or Manley Mere and happen to spot a few great whites thrashing about in the water, give them a cheer and wish them luck. It’s going to be a hard mile’s slog for all involved!”

Louise, from Meols, added: “Since the 1970s the populations of several species have been decimated by over 95% and scientists believe we are losing all hope of protecting these incredible animals from extinction.

“This group of friends and family based in Liverpool and Wirral have decided to do something about it.

“They hope to raise a great deal of publicity for the cause and a great deal of money for the British-based marine conservation charity The Shark Trust.”

To support the event or get involved next year, contact the group at: greatsharkswim@aol.com