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American actress, January Jones, best known for her performance in "American Wedding" and "Anger Management" is in Belize for a couple of days to swim with Belize's world famous whale sharks at Gladden Spit in Placencia. Jones is the spokesperson for Oceana's save the shark campaign and will be filming her two day swim. It will be used as a public announcement which will be aired internationally. Audrey Matura Shepherd is the Vice President of Oceana Belize.

Audrey Matura Shepherd; Vice President, Oceana

"January Jones in 2007 offered to become our spokes person for our campaign that deals with trying to save our sharks. Sharks are all over the world and so it is a part of her work, which she does free, she volunteers. She does several appearances for us as well as any kind of public announcements. Because Oceana's office in Belize is the newest one they thought that seeing that Belize has so many sharks as well and that our whale sharks are so special that they would come and film January Jones snorkelling with the Belize whale sharks. We will include it as a part of our international campaign that deal with the sharks of the world."

Jones arrived in Belize yesterday and filming will begin tomorrow.

Audrey Matura Shepherd

"The way there whale sharks operate we cannot make an appointment with them. We just have to go and snorkel and dive and with luck we will get to see one. I am sure we will be able to have that blessing and we will be able to have her take shots with the whale sharks. We brought in a small crew that will be doing that because we specialize in that kind of work. That will be Wednesday and Thursday; we have three different dives and we will get to see the sharks on one of those occasions. I think it is very important for people to know that while January Jones will speak about sharks and she does this for sharks all around the world Belize has a very important asset; a very valuable asset in the nature of our sharks especially our whale sharks these are some wonderful creatures that you cannot just find anywhere in the world. Unfortunately in the Asian market they have captured and killed not only for their fins but also for their flesh. These animals take years to grow; they are not like other fish that reproduce on a yearly basses. When you kill a whale shark it is an animal that can live up to sixty of seventy years. When you kill one you really depleting their stock faster because they do not reproduce as fast as the other fish life."

Before leaving the country on Friday January Jones will meet the press.


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Hollywood starlet January Jones visits Belize to film Swim with the Whale Shark

Press Release - Oceana - May 4th, 2010 - American super starlet January Jones arrives in Belize Monday to film her swim with Belize's world famous whale sharks at Gladden Spit off the Placencia Peninsula. Jones, who is on her first visit to Belize is the spokesperson for Oceana's save the shark campaign since February 2009.

The filming is for the production of a public service announcement which will be aired internationally and which will focus on the beauty and value of sharks to the marine eco-system. The campaign entitled "Scared for Sharks" speaks of how we should be less afraid of sharks and more afraid for sharks as they are being hunted and killed to a near point of extinction.

Belize's waters are home to over 10 species of sharks amongst them the Whale Shark, which is the largest living fish in the world. The hundreds of thousands of visitors who flock to Belize's shores each year just to get a glimpse of these sharks are responsible for almost half of the revenues earned in the tourism sector.

Sharks world wide are in danger since they are being killed to feed the appetite of the Asian markets which see the serving of 'shark fin' soup as a symbol of high status. Shark fin soup is used for ceremonial purposes and are served largely at weddings. Sharks are valuable for their fin thus their fins are hacked off and the remainder of their body discarded. Shark fin can be sold for up to US$60.00 a pound while the flesh of the shark can only be sold for about US$0.50.

January Jones has starred in several movies amongst them "American Wedding" and "Anger Management". She is also known for her role in the AMC television series "Mad Men".

January Jones will be available for the press at a press briefing on Friday May 7th, 2010 at 10:00 am at a venue to be announced.

San Pedro Sun

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January Jones's Jaunt at Gladden

[Linked Image] January Jones is an American actress popular for her role in the series Mad Men. But she is also a celebrity spokes person for Oceana. She was in Belize all of this week to see the annual passage of whale sharks through Belizean waters.

It happens off Gladden Spit and Jones is a spokesperson for Oceana's Save the Shark Campaign. She got to swim with the massive slow moving creatures which can grow as long as 40 feet and weigh as much as 20 tonnes, and as she told local Oceana Vice President Audrey Matura Shepherd, it was an awe inspiring experience.

January Jones, Hollywood star

"I got to go on amazing trips and interact with these different species of shark. It's been a dream come through for me personally because I not only enjoy it but I loved it. It's brought awareness to the depleting shark populations around the world and it's just something I am very passionate about."

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, VP Oceana

[Linked Image] "And how was your experience in Belize? Especially when you got to see your first whale shark."

January Jones, Hollywood star

"It was like nothing´┐Ż I can't really put into words. It was sort of a religious experience I think just how perfect it all turned out, the fact that I was able to come to a place that I have never been that is so extremely beautiful. On the first day to go down, we weren't sure, there's no guarantees that we would be able to see a whale shark. They are a very elusive animal and we had just left the area and had given up a little bit and we saw one within 20 feet of water. So it was really a perfect situation and to be able to swim with it and just see it that close, it meant a lot to me."

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January Jones and Oceana - Scared FOR Sharks

Actress January Jones, of "Mad Men" fame on AMC, has been in Belize for a few days this past week to film a PSA (public service announcement) for Oceana entitled "Scared for Sharks". She travelled along with a film crew to get footage of the famous Whale Sharks in Gladden Spit, Placencia as part of her campaign which will be aired internationally. Her campaigns have been featured in Travel + Leisure, InStyle, Sports Illustrated and more.
Today, May 7, 2010, January was at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza along with Ms. Audrey Matura Shepherd, Director for Oceana, Belize City office, International Oceana Director Matt Little-John, Marine Scientist Julie Stockbridge and Underwater Camera Operator Neil Andrea to speak a bit more on the two and a half day's worth of activities.
According to Ms. Jones, her interest in sharks began from a very young age, and when it came time to choose a charity, when she was able to make an impact, Oceana seemed the perfect organization to volunteer her time.
While at Gladden's Spit, they were conscious that the opportunity to spot a Whale Shark was not a guarantee, but during one of their outings, they were looking to leave they noticed a whale shark near their boat in about 20 feet of water. According to Jones, the experience was unlike any other, and she is hard pressed to find words to describe just how it was. They were able to get great shots on film for the PSA.
The PSA will be edited in two versions, one for the US and one for Belize, which Oceana will be responsible for airing countrywide.
After the meeting, January Jones and the film crew went directly to the International Airport to board their flight back home. Look for more details in the upcoming issue of The San Pedro Sun.

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January Jones swims with sharks to save them

'Mad Men' star is scared for - not of - the endangered fish.

"Mad Men" actress January Jones continues to speak out on behalf of sharks in a new PSA for Oceana, her second for the organization. She traveled to Belize to swim with a whale shark, the world's largest fish, at nearly 40 feet long. "I wasn't intimidated so much as in complete and utter awe," she says of the experience. "Seeing an animal of that size in the wild is incredible. And then to be able to swim alongside it? It's a feeling that's very hard to put into words. There was a peace that came over me, and a feeling of hope and joy that was intoxicating. I was free diving so I was obviously holding my breath but I didn't want to surface."

Jones wants people to know that "sharks are amazing animals and that most, like whale sharks, are not interested in us. We know this because the science shows it - whale sharks eat plankton. There is no shark that really views us as lunch or dinner. That's why shark attacks and bites are, thankfully, very, very rare. And sharks play a critical role in our oceans as top predators. Without them, things go out of balance. And, now tens of millions of sharks are caught, mostly for their fins, every year. So it's silly to be scared of them. We should be scared for them."

She urges everyone to learn more about sharks at or via books like "The Devil's Teeth" by Susan Casey and become involved in activism for this cause. "You can help push forward legislation and policy that can help save sharks," she says. "It sounds funny, but sharks really need a lot more allies and friends right now."

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Video: January Jones Swims with Whale Sharks

January Jones Swims with Whale Sharks from Oceana on Vimeo.

For her second "Scared for Sharks" PSA, "Mad Men" star January Jones traveled with Oceana to Belize's Gladden Spit Marine Reserve to swim with the largest fish in the ocean: the whale shark.

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