January 25th, 2018
A UN-backed wildlife conference held in the Philippines in 2017 voted for additional protection of 33 endangered species including chimpanzees, leopards and giraffes & Whales sharks.
We are blessed to live and work on Dhigurah island, which is one of the inhabited islands of Alif Dhaal Atoll where Whale sharks are year-round residents.
But how can we help with the conservation of these magnificent creatures? It’s going to take a lot of effort from us all. We need to make sure the message is being delivered to the world about this issue and ensure that we educate people and encourage them to act responsibly with the conservation of our oceans.
Why are Whale sharks on the endangered list?
Whale sharks have long been targeted in commercial fisheries. They are highly valued on the Asian market including using their fins for soups and display this prize fins. But also we have a worldwide issue with sustaining our oceans.
So what can we do to help? Here are a few tips on what we can all do to help with saving the Whale sharks:
We need to let people know there is a problem, and it’s not going away. So education and knowledge about the problem will be paramount.
Don’t Support the Trade
If you do live or travel to Asia, don’t support the trade by purchasing these delicacies that are contributing to the decline in numbers.
Visiting popular places like the Maldives to swim with the Whale sharks is mutually beneficial. Eco tourism helps protect the species and also boosts the local economy.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Carbon dioxide is a result of the human consumption of fossil fuels which is entering the ocean and changing the acidity. This is resulting in a global issue of dying coral reefs, home to many marine life.
By making minor changes at home you can really help. Switch to energy efficient light bulbs, turning off switches when they are not in use and walking, cycling or taking public transport rather than driving everywhere.
Reduce & Eventually Eliminate the Use of Plastic
There is still a serious issue with the amount of plastic in the ocean. It has been in the news a lot lately and there has been some very disturbing footage on how it is seriously affecting the marine wildlife.
Join the Beach Clean Up
In the Maldives and on Dhigurah island we get together on a regular basis for a beach and island clean up. When are you travelling to the Maldives, feel free to ask your local island guide if there are events on that you can join in. Not only will you be helping the environment but also getting to know the locals more as you spend time with them, helping preserve not only one of the most beautiful places on the world (the Maldives!) but also one of the most spectacular species in the world – the Whale sharks.
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