Saturday, 28 August 2010

Save the Whale Sharks!

photo credit PangeaSeed

Did you know that Monday, August 30th is International Whale Shark Day? And it couldn't have come at a better time, because there are two whale sharks that need your help.

In Cancun, Mexico August 30th is a day to swim with these gentle giants. Affectionately called "Dominoes" due to their spotted patterns, the sharks migrate to this area and hang out to be adored by locals and tourists alike from May to September. You can even swim with them! But only two people are allowed at a time, you must have a guide, and you must NEVER touch the animals. A proper way to experience the beauty this shark emanates. It's on my bucket list.

But back to business, Japanese (surprise) fishermen have caught not one, but TWO whale sharks, and are keeping them in a mere 50 x 50 meter net until they can profit off their sale to an aquarium. Currently no aquarium can house the huge fish, so they're sentenced to swim in circles until NOVEMBER, upon which the fishermen will give up and release them - if they're still alive. To add insult to injury, 40 divers and a glass-bottomed boat float around in the net to bring in some cash while the sharks await their fate.

"In addition, the tiny enclosure forces the shark to make a lot of sharp turns, causing it to burn off it’s energy very fast. The man-made environment can also not cater to a whale shark's special feeding requirements. In short, its inability to adapt to this captivity will drastically reduce the shark’s lifespan," says a posting from The Global Shark Initiative on Facebook (which obviously I'm suggesting that you join).

So what can you do to help? Simply send an email - and it's already been written for you! Take a moment of your time to help save one of the most beautiful creatures to ever grace the face of this planet. Follow this link to a PDF file that has both the Japanese and the English translation, respectfully calling for the release of the two sharks. Highlight, copy, paste and send it off to the address provided and know you have been a voice in saving these unfortunate individuals. Action needs to be taken now to minimize the effects of captivity!

I did it, will you?

The Global Shark Initiative on Facebook
PDF Letter Calling for the Release of the two Sharks
International Whale Shark Day in Cancun

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