Saturday, April 18, 2015

Antarctica Update - The Whale Shark Project

Hey there dreamers, it's Hannah!  I know that many of you are animal and earth-lovers, just like me, and I want to share with you more about one of our Seven Continents Partners.  It is an amazing organization that's doing everything it can to save the world, one species at a time.  The Turtle Island Restoration Network is  looking to protect certain rare, beautiful and endangered species.  There motto is: "Fighting for a blue-green planet," and they have teamed up with a our new friend, explorer and naturalist Jonathan R. Green.  Jonathan is the brainchild for the "Galapagos Whale Shark Project," and our contact for Antarctica. He started this project in 2000 and is a leading researcher of the whale sharks.

We met Jonathan through my cousin, who has travelled down to the Galapagos with him on an expedition.  Jonathan is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London.  He saw the slaughter of these beautiful creatures by fisheries in the Pacific and Indian oceans, and has worked passionately to protect them ever since.  Through Jonathan we have learned a lot about the illegal poaching of whale sharks.

Whale sharks have been listed as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature since 2002, largely because of the presence of these whale shark fisheries, most of which have now been closed.
However, whale sharks are still taken as by-catch, or illegally.  Last year, a single slaughterhouse in southeastern China's Zhejiang province was found to process up to 6000 whale sharks annually.  Whale shark fins are also highly prized as trophies, and can be sold for up to $1,000 each!

This year, we worked with Jonathan to raise money to put a tracker on a whale shark.  Now, the Turtle Restoration Network can track that whale shark to see where it, and other whale sharks travel to, and they can potentially find where they breed and where and how to best protect these sharks.

Thank you to everyone that helped us raise the money to track this shark!  Hopefully, with the progress we have made with the whale shark tracking, we can make a difference with these beautiful animals, and potentially help to bring back the species to the thriving state they were once in.

If you would like continue helping these whale sharks through the "Galapagos Whale Shark Project," you can donate to our "ANTARCTICA" button and can find out more at:

Thank you for helping to make our "blue-green" world a better place!

Ps. - It's Jack, and I also wanted to thank you by sharing one more fun-fact!  Jonathan said that this summer he wants to tag a new whale shark and name it "HANNAH!"  Stay tuned!
Could this be Hannah? ;)