High Season Begins With Whalesharks
Friday 29th July 2016
We have had some very lucky divers this last week or so with a large number of Whaleshark sightings. Students completing their Open Water and Advanced Courses and a number of fundivers. Southwest Pinnacle and Chumphon Pinnacle have been graced with these harmless and beautiful fish. Yet the very sad truth is that over the next few years these may be some of the last time we may be seeing them.
As of march 2016 the largest fish in the ocean the Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) has been declared endangered and added to the IUCN Rest List of Endangered Animals. The Whale Shark has been listed in a number of international conventions and agreements. The species is included in Annex I (Highly Migratory Species) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Bonn Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) in 1999 and recently the Whale Shark was listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 2002.
This has not made as bigger impact on the species as some would hope and numbers are still dropping rapidly. The IUCN states ‘Directed fisheries and significant bycatch fisheries have targeted areas where high densities of Whale Sharks occur, leading to rapid reductions in catch per unit effort (CPUE) measures. Some bias toward juvenile Whale Shark-dominated aggregations are present in trend data; in the absence of information on other life-stages, these trends are inferred to be representative of population-level declines. While a number of commercial fisheries for the species closed during the 1990–2000s, Whale Shark products remain valuable and the species is still commonly caught in some countries.’
As we are fast approaching our busiest time of the year please be sure to book online using our booking form to avoid disappointment on accommodation spaces.