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Gujarat Govt plans to develop whale shark tourism

By Devaki

Ahmedabad, Jul 19: Gujarat state forest department is planning to implement whale shark aka 'tofu shark' tourism which was implemented by the Australian system of locating them by using plane and expert spotters in the sea.

Pradeep Khanna, Principal Chief Conservator of forests of Gujarat said that a team from India had gone to Australia to study satellite tagging of whale sharks and also to learn about tourism concerning the species to help kick-start similar process at home.

There are more than 500 whale sharks in Indian water in which most of them are spotted largely on the coast of Gujarat. State Government would train pilot and spotters for the purpose and tourists can be guided to the areas where whale sharks are found by spotters, informed Khanna. He added that they are in the process of procuring satellite tags and will soon be initiating genetic analysis of individual whale sharks as well, which will give us more knowledge about them.

Whale Shark is a 8 to 12 meter long unique fish, which fishermen used to hunt frequently. However by sustained efforts from various NGOs, state government and religious leaders, the fishermen have almost ceased hunting them.


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