Kochi, August 31: To make an effort in conserving whale sharks, Kerala launched a massive awareness campaign on the occasion of International Whale Shark Day along with Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) which was held at Sacred Hearts College, Thevara. This campaign aims to secure sharks off the coasts of Kerala and Lakshadweep.
Inaugurating the event Mayor Soumini Jain said that "We are happy that WTI's Gujarat project, which was the first-of-its-kind in India, has now made its first expansion to the Kerala coast.”.
BC Choudhury, WTI Senior Advisor, said that the launch of the project in Kerala is a significant collaborative conservation effort. The event began with a rally by students of the Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School. The schoolchildren were excited to see the 40-feet-long life-size inflatable whale shark that had been placed in the college's basketball court.
Vivek Menon, the WTI CEO, said that whale sharks, which are endangered in the tropical seas are important indicators of ocean health. "We have had great success with our community engagement model in the conservation of whale sharks off the coast of Gujarat and we are pleased to now formally extend this model to Kerala," he said. Earlier the campaign to conserve whale shark was initiated in Gujarat in 2004.