Veraval, Gujarat, 30th August, 2018 : The Gujarat Whale Shark conservation project celebrated International Whale Shark Day, 2018 with the students from fishery faculty at Junagadh Agricultural University (JAU) at Veraval. The event was successful due to the combined efforts of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and Junagadh Forest Department of Gujarat State with a wide-ranging support from Tata Chemicals Ltd. (TCL) and fishermen community on Gujarat coast.
A half-day workshop was organized by the students and was based on two broad modules/ aspects on Whale Sharks; biology and research on Whale Sharks, presented by students’ team and strategies of Whale Shark conservation in India, again presented by the student body from Chokshi College, Veraval.
The inaugural session was attended by dignitaries and stakeholders of the project. Shri. J. S. Bheda, the Range Forest Officer, Veraval forest division, congratulated the participants for their successful collaborative efforts by multi-stakeholders who have contributed their respective role played in the conservation of Whale Shark on Gujarat coast. Mr Bheda also acknowledged the role of forest staff on the ground and the need for conservation of schedule I species along with Whale Sharks listed in Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Mr Farukhkha Bloch, representing the Wildlife Trust of India, took the audience through with the success story of the public-private partnership model of Whale Shark conservation in Gujarat coast. WTI’s project field biologist, Charan Kumar added by explaining the migration tracking of Whale Sharks through satellite tagging and its monitoring system. Dr Paresh Poriya, Assistant Professor of Fisheries College in Veraval embarked upon technical information on Sharks and their relatives with especially emphasising on biographical information on Whale Shark.
The inaugural session was followed by a technical session where the student from the College of Fisheries and Chokshi collage made their respective presentations to impart technical research work information on Whale Sharks. Friends of Whale Shark team performed a skit on the live rescue process documenting the rescue and release procedure.