Help Save Vulnerable Whale Sharks – Protect their Gulf of Mexico Habitat

  • by: Care2 Team
  • target: Dr. Timothy Gallaudet, Acting Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere (NOAA), Commerce Department

The video is tragic and heartbreaking. An enormous whale shark hoisted onto the side of a vessel by commercial fishermen in Thailand. Unfortunately, the whale wasn't freed in time to survive. Even worse, the whale shark was reportedly seen giving birth while hanging off the side of the ship, and the baby died as well. We must do more to protect these amazing animals.

Whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea, and gentle filter-feeders. Due to their slow moving, wide-ranging nature, the species is incredibly vulnerable to extinction. 

Scientists understand very little about the species, but some think they are a world-wide population, not subdivided by regions. If so, that means what happens in Thailand, affects the whale sharks well-known to feed in specific areas in the Gulf of Mexico, and vice versa.

Help defend whale sharks across the globe by demanding their known habitat is protected from fishing and other damaging activities, such as oil and gas exploration. Right now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is considering expanding marine protected areas in the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, the proposal they are currently supporting excludes the most important whale shark habitat identified in the Gulf, a coral area off the coast of Louisiana known as Ewing Bank.

Urge NOAA to move forward with expanding the Flower Garden Banks, and protect as much marine wildlife habitat as possible, including Ewing Bank.

The oil and gas industry is pushing hard against any expansion of the marine sanctuary, as they don't want to give up even an acre of potential oil drilling or development. It's urgent that you sign & share the petition to expand the sanctuary to protect whale sharks and other marine wildlife.

To see the tragic whale shark video, click here.

To find out more about NOAA's marine sanctuary expansion project, click here.

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