Published on: August 27, 2022

Save the Whale Shark campaign’

Save the Whale Shark campaign’ Why in news? Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), a nature conservation organisation, will launch a ‘save the Whale Shark campaign’ in Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep on the occasion of International Whale Shark Day on August 30.


  • The campaign will be inaugurated in Mangaluru
  • The Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) is the largest fish on earth, and a keystone species in marine ecosystem. It can grow to a length of approximately 18 metres and weigh as much as 21 tonnes.
  • Although distributed widely across tropical and warm temperate seas, limited information is available on the population trends of this species, especially along the Indian coastline.
  • The big fish has the highest level of protection as a Schedule I Species in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • The campaign will run along coastal Karnataka, Kerala and the Lakshadweep islands in collaboration with the Forest and Fisheries Departments of Karnataka, Kerala and the Lakshadweep administration.
  • The campaign aims to connect marine fisher folk, village communities and students for conservation awareness on the Whale Shark.
  • The campaign aims to reduce accidental entanglements in fishing nets with fishermen releasing whale shark.


  • The rising level of plastic debris in oceans is a large-scale environmental problem with widespread impact. Owing to their feeding strategies, this filter-feeding megafauna is particularly susceptible.

Measures taken:

  • A mobile application has been developed to record whale shark spotting and rescues for further conservation action.
  • Similar WTI project, operational in Gujarat for the last 20 years, has resulted in fisher folk releasing over 900 whale sharks in the Arabian Sea. All the fishermen who have rescued the big fish have been made Whale Shark Conservation Champions.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reports whale shark population as decreasing and its global status notified as ‘endangered’. According to IUCN, the only way to curb accidental mortality is to ensure the release of the entangled whale shark from fishing nets without any delay. For this, the primary target group, which is the fishermen need to be sensitised.
  • To address these issues, WTI is expanding the Whale Shark Conservation project, with support from Oracle, along the coast of Karnataka, and reinstating the campaign back in Kerala and Lakshadweep.