WTI campagins to protect Whale Shark.

Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) in association with Lakshadweep Environment and Forests Department has launched a campaign to raise awareness about protecting Whale shark, the largest species of fish on earth. Earlier WTI has run a similar campaign along Malabar Coast, Kerela. The campaign to save the fish species began in year 2004 and since then 724 fishes have been saved.

Under this campaign fishermen will be instructed to avoid targeting the whale sharks and put back into the sea, the ones caught up in fishing nets. In addition, shows will be held to make the local folk aware about the campaign along with awareness sessions in schools.

Threats to whale shark:

  • Whale sharks, though considered inedible by locals, but are often trapped as bycatch in fishing nets.
  • Fins of whale shark are used in many delicacies in China.
  • In other parts of the world whale sharks are hunted for extraction of fish oil.

About whale sharks:

Whale sharks are the largest species of sharks as well as the largest fish. This species primarily sustain on planktons, but also eats  fish, squid, and pelagic crustaceans. They are found mostly in tropical and some of the temperate waters. In India they are found along eastern coast and Lakshadweep Islands. They can grow upto 20 meters in length and can live for 100-150 years.

Conservation status of whale shark:

  • IUCN: Endangered
  • CITES: Appendix II
  • Wildlife protection act of India: Schedule I (Part IIA)

Wildlife Trust of India (WTI):

WTI is a charitable organization committed to the conservation of wildlife and forests in India. It was established in 1980 and has headquarters in NOIDA, Uttar Pradesh.

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