Deep Blue will be conducting one of the largest scientific research projects ever undertaken in the Caribbean to find out more about the whale sharks of Utila. Scientists, and marine biologists will be brought in from around the world to oversee this project. We will be digitally tagging the whale sharks to put together one of the most extensive video and photographic libraries for all to view. Over the next 5 years we will be obtaining new information to help in the conservation and recognition of the whale sharks of Utila. While the project is being undertaken we will be allowing our guests to assist by taking video footage, photographs and by logging individual whale sharks.
See our research website at www.UtilaWhaleSharkResearch.com. The project scientists and staff will brief our guests on what to look for and will then assist with the matching of previous sightings. For prices and dates see our Message Board
ECOCEAN Whale Shark Photo-identificationECOCEAN works to generate public awareness for marine conservation issues. ECOCEAN also encourages and facilitates quality research to provide important information (data) to assist with 'best practice' management for the future conservation of the marine ecosystem. Often, important research and the associated gathering of data can be achieved with the help of the public - via simple community monitoring projects. Founders of the group (Brad Norman & Rhiannon Bennett) have continued to undertake research and campaign for the conservation of the whale shark since 1994.
Their work has been influential in having the whale shark listed:
- as vulnerable to extinction by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) ;
- as threatened under Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act ;
- and included on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) needing close monitoring and international cooperation to ensure future survival of the species .