How Ocean Conservation Projects Work With Whale Sharks

By Harold Moore
Wildlife conservation is as important in the oceans as it is on the mainland. Ocean research gives us better information about what lives in the depths of our seas, so we can endeavor to keep them safe for future generations to enjoy. When you think Africa, you may not immediately think of its coastline and the animals that live there, but in fact, the African coast shelters many creatures, some in danger from human-made pollution and hunting. If you are searching for a profession in ocean conservation and love the ocean, spending time volunteering for projects in Africa is a perfect choice for your gap year.

You can find whale sharks in warm and tropical oceans and live for around 70 years. Although they were thought to feed mainly on plankton, the BBC program Planet Earth caught a shark feeding on a school of small fish. Their anatomy has evolved to allow them to be very effective when they are feeding and their large mouths which can be up to 1.5 metres wide allow them to collect and filter their food.

Research the Orcas- Working with Orcas in Africa involves not only hands-on research but also educating the community further about these marvelous creatures. As a volunteer, you will be deeply involved in all forms of research and help develop long-term strategies to ensure the survival of the Orca. You will be taking too much time in the water, diving and collecting samples and having lots of contact with all different types of sea creatures, not just Orcas. You will work on projects cleaning up the coastline and participate in lessons teaching about marine preservation and its importance to the future of Africa.

Research the Great White Shark- The Great White Shark is one of the most misunderstood creatures of the sea. However, this creature is an important part of the sea ecosystem and, as such, one of the animals focused on in the wildlife preservation programs in Africa.

The scientists and volunteers involved in the projects will spend some time recording their location so that their journeys can be mapped so the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme can make decisions as to their preservation and protection mechanisms.

Oil leaking from an offshore oil rig will kill all the creatures in the area of the leak. The oil will wash up on shore and destroy the delicate ecosystems along the shore. The oil will trap and kill marine life such as birds, dolphins, seals, and any other creature that is unfortunate enough to be affected by the oil spill. Everyone who cares about the environment should be interested in sea preservation.

By studying dolphins and whales, you are not only learning to help them but also the entire ecosystem to which they belong. During your volunteer period, you will be tagging and tracking dolphins, tracking the whales on their annual migration and keeping an eye on population sizes.

Pollution unfortunately gets into the sea from many sources and can make swimmers unwell and obviously adversely impact the environment for marine life. Conservation work in this area usually focuses on educating locals about the effects of pollution and littering, as well as obviously some clean-up efforts to help prevent animals from ingesting elements accidentally, which can have fatal consequences.

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How Ocean Conservation Projects Work With Whale Sharks

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