Join the whale shark

Date: 1/4/2005

Project AWARE Foundation in collaboration with the Shark Trust, have developed the International

Whale Shark Project to promote conservation of the whale shark. They are calling all divers and

snorkellers for help in contributing to the protection of whale sharks by logging and reporting their

sightings to a new Whale Shark Photo Identification database which is located at

www.whalesharkproject.org

.

The database is designed to help divers and snorkellers to contribute vital information to researchers

studying whale shark migrations and producing the information that is essential for planning the

conservation management of these huge, harmless animals. Photographs of specific parts of the whale

shark can be matched against existing records, so we can understand when these animals migrate and

how their populations are structured. Whale sharks are a spectacular living resource and an encounter

is an experience of a lifetime. How you can help? Visit the Education and Awareness section of


www.projectaware.org

to find out details of dive centres and resorts actively participating in the

International Whale Shark Project. At these dive centres you may have the opportunity to enrol on

to a Whale Shark Awareness Speciality course, which will give you essential knowledge and skills

to dive or snorkel responsibly with whale sharks.

The course will also give you more information about biology, behaviour and distribution of the world’s largest fish. To contribute to their protection, take a photograph and record a few details when you are fortunate enough to come across one. If you already have a photo, take a look in your logbooks for details of when and where you saw the whale shark, and log this photo and information on to

www.whalesharkproject.org

. To further promote the International Whale Shark Project and raise public awareness of the importance of protecting these animals, Project AWARE Foundation has produced a Whale Shark Project brochure, which explains why and how to get involved in this worthwhile project.

UN report warns of dangers of over-fishing world’s top marine species. With seven of the top 10 marine

fish species fully exploited or overexploited, serious biological and economic drawbacks

are likely if fishing capacity for these stocks is further increased, according to a new United Nations

report released recently. While recovery of depleted stocks is urgent, it is just as important to avoid

depleting still-healthy stocks in the first place by matching fishing efforts to what these stocks are capable

of supporting. Strategies for rebuilding stocks identified in the report include significantly decreasing

or temporarily stopping fishing in overexploited fisheries, reducing degradation of underwater

environments and actively rehabilitating damaged habitats. Regions with stocks in greatest need of

recovery include the Northeast Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, followed by the

Northwest Atlantic, the Southeast Atlantic, the Southeast Pacific and the Southern Ocean.

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