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International Whale Shark Day

International Whale Shark Day:

Delhi-based non-profit, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) launched ‘Save the Whale Shark Campaign’ along Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep in Mangaluru.

  • August 30, 2022 is International Whale Shark Day, this year’s theme is “The Future of Sharks: Guardians of Our Seas.”
  • The campaign will run along coastal Karnataka, Kerala and the Lakshadweep islands in collaboration with the Forest and Fisheries Departments of Karnataka, Kerala and the Lakshadweep administration.
  • Further, the campaign aims to reduce accidental entanglements in fishing nets with fishermen releasing whale shark.
  • A mobile application has been developed to record whale shark spotting and rescues for further conservation action
  • The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the largest fish on Earth and a keystone species in marine ecosystems.
  • It can grow to a length of approximately 18 metres and weigh as much as 21 tonnes.
  • They are ovoviviparous – meaning they give birth to live young rather than lay eggs – and can reach sexual maturity at around 10 years old.
  • Whale sharks are tropical ocean dwellers that feed on fish, squid and other small creatures.
  • The whale shark is distributed all along the Indian coast.
  • However, the largest whale shark aggregation is along the Gujarat coast.
  • Status:
    • The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
    • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List: Endangered.
    • IUCN Green Status Assessment: Largely Depleted.