Whale shark and sea turtles released in China

This video is called Whale Shark – BBC Planet Earth.

From Wildlife Extra:

Whale shark and sea turtles released off China

Turtles and Whale shark released off Hainan Island

July 4, 2012 – A Whale shark and two Green sea turtles were successfully released off Hainan Island, China. With blue skies above and turquoise waters below, approximately 50 people, including government officials, students, volunteers, local fishermen, and community members, boarded a boat in Lingshui Bay where the animals were set free into their ocean home.

Sea Turtles 911 Founding Director, Frederick Yeh, hailed the day as a celebration of freedom for marine animals, “Sea turtle conservation does not only involve sea turtles. When we protect charismatic species such as Whale sharks, those efforts spill over and protect sea turtles as well. These two animals share the ocean, and we must learn to share the ocean with them.” He added that currently, sea turtles and sharks are endangered entirely due to human-related causes; therefore, “Protecting them is humankind’s responsibility.”

Satellite tags fitted

The Whale shark and one of the sea turtles were outfitted with satellite transmitter tags that will communicate information such as their location, swimming speed and depth, and surrounding water temperatures. Despite being the largest fish in the ocean, very little is known about the life histories of Whale sharks, particularly in the South China Sea. Suzanne Gendron, Director of Ocean Park, announced. The satellite tag will help biologists learn more about their extremely long migration paths, areas in which they feed, and possibly even where they breed, so that conservation efforts are focused in these places.

Whale shark

The Whale shark was a juvenile male measuring 6 metres (20 feet) in length and weighing approximately 1 ton. It is believed that adults can reach up to 20 metres (65 feet) in length and weigh 30 tons. The Whale shark was caught by a Chinese fishing boat and kept captive, a practice we are now focusing on to make sure the sharks are then released, as this one was with a satellite tag.

Whale sharks are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They are often victims of fisheries by-catch, accidentally caught by fishing boats, or hunted and killed for the value of their large fins to be used in shark fin soup. A traditional Chinese dish, the demand for shark fin soup has increased as China’s economy grows. In recent years ‘shark-finning‘ has become controversial due to the inhumane nature of the catch; caught sharks have their fins sliced off and are thrown back overboard to eventually drown, unable to swim without their fins. It is estimated that approximately 100 million sharks are killed each year for the industry.

Green turtles

The two Green sea turtles were juveniles weighing 30 kg (66 lbs) and 25 kg (55 lbs) respectively. Both had been in residence at Sea Turtles 911’s floating sea turtle hospital for approximately 10 months after being rescued from the illegal sea turtle trade. They were admitted on the same day, both suffering from extreme nutritional deficiencies and weighing a bare-bones 16 kg (35 lbs) each, making their successful dual release all the more special. Green sea turtles are hunted and raised by poachers for their meat, which is considered a delicacy in China.

The event was a collaborative effort between Sea Turtles 911, Hainan Normal University, Ocean Park Hong Kong, local government, and fishermen.

Asian Animal Rights Groups Gain Momentum: here.

The common ancestor of sharks and humans — and all jawed animals with a backbone for that matter — possessed a sixth sense: the ability to detect electrical fields under water: here.

Michael Sweet, a researcher in the School of Biology at Newcastle University’s Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability, has found that while sharks can tan, they are resistant to melanoma: here.

The world’s most endangered turtles and tortoises: here.

Tunisia: Urgent Call to Preserve Marine Fauna in Tunisia and Mediterranean – Stop Killing Sea Turtles: here.

13 thoughts on “Whale shark and sea turtles released in China

  1. Pingback: Whale shark and sea turtles released in China | Dear Kitty. Some blog | shark news | Scoop.it

  2. Pingback: Whale shark and sea turtles released in China | Dear Kitty. Some blog | Our Endangered Planet and it's Wildlife.

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  4. Salvador quake destroys 45,000 endangered sea turtle eggs

    By The Associated Press August 28, 2012

    Wildlife authorities say a strong earthquake in the Pacific Ocean late Sunday destroyed more than 45,000 endangered sea turtle eggs on the coast of El Salvador.

    The director of the turtle conservation program for the El Salvador Zoological Foundation says the 7.4-magnitude undersea quake sent at least three waves at least 30 feet high up the beach and destroyed thousands of nests and just-hatched turtles. It also washed up on about 150 people collecting eggs in order to protect them in special pens hundreds of feet up the beach. The waves injured three.

    Program director Emilio Leon said that in the last year and a half the foundation has successfully hatched and released 700,000 turtles from four species at risk of extinction.


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