Coming together with the Fisheries Department, local panchayat and Fishers Association, the Wildlife Trust of India, celebrated the whale sharks in Kerala. The event which took place at the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Samskarika Kendra Valiyathura, Thiruvananthapuram also saw participation by students from St. Anthony’s School.
The highlight of the celebration was honouring local fishers who valiantly rescued and released entangled whale sharks from fishing nets. They were honoured for their unwavering commitment to the cause of protecting whales.
The “Save the Whale Shark Campaign” has an overarching objective of fostering conservation awareness about these remarkable creatures among marine fishermen, local communities, and students. This has paid dividends in Kerala since 2018 fishermen have successfully liberated 7 Whale Sharks ensnared in the nets along the coast.
Appreciating WTI’s efforts along with Forest Department relating to the Whale Shark conservation, Pradeep Kumar, Divisional Forest Officer, said: “These efforts have shown significant results because previously, between 2019-20, we received several reports of crimes related to whale sharks, turtles, dolphins etc. occurring in the coastal regions of Kerala, which has reduced considerably.”
Spelling out WTI’s objective, Sajan John, Marine Specialist said: “Our aim is to facilitate community engagement and environmental conservation activities, to raise awareness and promote the protection of these magnificent creatures.”
The audience were addressed Martin, Secretary at Valiyathura Football Academy who shared insights into the importance of marine conservation and Ajith Shankumugham, a representative of the fishing community.