Ok folks, in the interest of time management (and my sanity) we have a new rule. If you can google the answer to your question, I’m not gonna answer it. Like I’ve said before, I’m probably going to have to google it myself anyway.
Hello! So I'm only in my second year of college in the U.S.A. and am studying to be a marine biologist. I came across your blog and am OBSESSED. Literally you live my dream life. I'm in love with the U.K., traveling is my favorite, and I want to be in the whale shark conservation field. Any way, I was wondering if by any chance you could tell me some more about the organization you worked with that dealt with the public feeding the whale shark?
Hi, thanks for the follow! It’s actually the local community that feed the sharks for tourists. I worked with the Large Marine Vertebrates Project monitoring the effects of the feeding and that is one of two whale shark projects that they run, on top of cetacean and stranding network work. They do take volunteers for some of these projects, you can see more at www.lamave.org
Let me know if you wanted to know anything in particular about them :)
Our first Large Marine Vertebrate Project, Philippines (LAMAVE) whale shark paper is out. Follow the link above to check it out. The study looked at the population structure and residency patterns of R. typus (whale shark) at the Oslob provisioning site, in Cebu, Philippines.
Big shout out to lead author Gonzalo Araujo and a massive thank you to our team and all our amazing LAMAVE volunteers. Go team!
This study represents the first description of whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, occurring at a provisioning site in Oslob, Cebu, Philippines. Frequent observations of sharks are often difficult, even at tourism sites, giving rise to provisioning activities to attract them. The present study provides repeated longitudinal data at a site where daily provisioning activities took place, and whale sharks were present every day. A total of 158 individual whale sharks were photographically identified between Mar 2012 and Dec 2013, with 129 males (82%), 19 females (12%) and 10 (6%) of undetermined sex. Mean estimated total length was 5.5 m (±1.3 m S.D.). Twenty individuals were measured with laser photogrammetry to validate researchers’ estimated sizes, yielding a good correlation (r2 = 0.83). Fifty-four (34%) individuals were observed being hand-fed by local fishermen (provisioned), through in-water behavioural observations. Maximum likelihood methods were used to model mean residency time of 44.9 days (±20.6 days S.E.) for provisioned R. typus contrasting with 22.4 days (±8.9 days S.E.) for non-provisioned individuals. Propeller scars were observed in 47% of the animals. A mean of 12.7 (±4.3 S.D.) R. typus were present in the survey area daily, with a maximum of 26 individuals (Aug 10 2013) and a minimum of 2 (Dec 6 2012). Twelve (8%) individuals were seen on at least 50% of survey days (n = 621), with a maximum residency of 572 days for one individual (P-396). Twenty four individuals were photographically identified across regional hotsposts, highlighting the species’ migratory nature and distribution. Extended residency and differences in lagged identification rates suggest behavioural modification on provisioned individuals, underlying the necessity for proper management of this tourism activity.
"In an announcement this afternoon, Environmental Protection Authority chairman Paul Vogel said the regulator had recommended against the policy following a detailed assessment. Premier Colin Barnett responded by saying it was unlikely the [Australian] government would appeal the EPA’s recommendation."