Whale Shark Conservation Project
Project Animal(s) : Whale Shark
Project Category : Fish
Project Region : Asia
Project Type : Conservation
Project URL : http://www.wti.org.in/projects/whale-shark-kerala/
Project is timebound? : No
The Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus ) is the largest fish on earth. It can grow to a length of approximately 18m and weigh as much as 21 metric tons. Although distributed widely across tropical and warm temperate seas, limited information is available on the population trends of this species, especially along the Indian coastline. Catch statistics and anecdotal reports suggest that population of whale sharks is declining. Unregulated and unsustainable fishing practices to meet international trade demands for shark fins, liver oil, skin and meat, accidental entanglement in fishing nets, collision with boats as well as extensive coastal pollution have been attributed as major threats to the survival of this species. This could potentially lead to its decline and can result in extinction either at the regional or global scale.
Due to lack of legal protection, whale sharks were once brutally hunted and slaughtered on an extensive scale across the shores of western India till 2001.This conservation initiative aims to increase awareness levels among coastal communities of Kerala through a full-fledged campaign.
Project Agency : Wildlife Trust of India