Saturday, August 11, 2012

WWF, AlJazeera, and Whale Sharks?

If you want to see some really good conservation reporting - go to AlJazeera this week. 

AlJazeera you say? Yes.

Kudos to Gelareh Darabi and her entire crew for this production.

For the past three years AlJazeera has produced a series of  top notch and in depth looks at our planet and the many conservation issues facing it.

This week the program Earthwise focused on Donsol and commercial whale shark diving there along with actual bots on the ground conservation efforts by the WWF who have made Donsol home for the past decade.

The look at how commercial shark diving helps local communities is a breath of fresh air, and for a global commercial shark diving industry proof positive that the net effects of commercial shark diving are good for local economies, conservation, and ultimnately the animals themselves.

Sustainable tourism trumps extractive fisheries every single time.

"Whale shark hunting hit a peak in the 1990s, with prices of up to $800 per kilogramme of dried fin meat attracting a fresh influx of hunters to Donsol in the Philippines. In 1997, around 200 of the creatures were slaughtered. Whale sightings started to diminish. After campaigning by the local community and conservation groups, whale shark hunting became punishable by Philippine law in 1998. WWF Philippines, the UNDP and the local government together developed a community-based ecotourism and conservation programme, with the aim of providing local people with a sustainable income whilst protecting the species. In a few years Donsol had transformed from a small coastal community into one of the world's most popular destinations for whale shark tourism."

Watch video here.

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving, film television productions, and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at

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