Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Last Whale

When I read this blog http://thelastwhale.blogspot.com I thought for a moment that I was perhaps reading back in time. My mind could not grasp the fact that so called civilised nations are involved in mass whale slaughter. I had admittedly had an incredibly long, hot day in Mombasa but I could not quite link the words I was reading to something that is actually happening in our world today.

“Japan’s whaling fleet today left Shimonoseki, a western port town, to start a new season of whaling in Antarctica. The whalers intend to take more than 1000 whales over the next four months.

Japan has added 50 humpback whales to the kill list this year, a species protected from commercial hunting for more than 40 years.

The fleet is led by the Nisshin Maru which has been repaired since a fire that forced Japan to cut short its last Antarctic hunt.

Both the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Greenpeace have said they will have ships in the Antarctic this season.

Greenpeace’s Esperanza ship will track the whalers in Antarctic waters, shooting video footage to show the public.
The mass killing of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary has been deemed to be unlawful according to three separate panels of international, independent legal experts, commissioned by IFAW.”

I read one comment that read “Sink the ships and show no mercy”. Very tempting! Very tempting indeed!

I remember being told once that “the sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy or too impatient. To dig for treasures show not only impatience and greed but lack of faith.”

Please go the blog spot above and do what you can to help this put a stop to this madness.

Dancing for whale sharks!

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/Avha_hVrxfI" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

This skit/dance was presented by FPF Kaya Academy on the last day of our art exhibition. They adapted the words of a popular song “Jambo, jambo bwana!” to reflect the need for marine conservation. Loosely translated from swahili, their song went something like this:

Hello mister! How are you? I am very fine! All our visitors are very welcome. We have no worries here in Kenya. The fish are trouble free and our marine vegetation is in good form too! There are no problems here!!

Hakuna matata!! (No worries!)

Whale Shark For Sale!

Check out these pictures done by our school children and presented at the art exhibition! Prepare to be wowed!!

IMG_0463 edit.JPG

IMG_0449 edit.JPG

Whale Shark Art

Sorry for the silence folks!! We are still beavering away here in Diani for the mighty whale shark cause! Yesterday we began our art exhibition at Leisure Lodge Hotel on Diani beach. The schools involved were Seacrest and Coast Academy. Today was Makaela, Word of Life and The Redeemed School. Makaela treated the guests to some songs which went down a treat over tea. The exhibition continues all week with different schools each day. We also have 4 volunteers now – Rachel has been joined by Philip, Frida and Malin from Sweden. They have been working very hard to make the exhibition a success.

Having been in Nairobi for a week, I arrived just before the grand opening yesterday. As I walked down into the exhibition centre I was overcome by the beautiful, creative pieces presented by all the children. They really were breath-taking and as ever the children were enthusiastic and excited to learn more about the project. Many thanks to the little artists, ever generous Leisure Lodge and our volunteers for working so hard to make this exhibition a continuing a success.

IMG_0463 edit.JPG

STOP THE DOLPHIN SLAUGHTER IN JAPAN!

We at the East African Whale Shark Trust are horrified, outraged and ultimately hugely saddened by the annual slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. We cannot believe that such killing can ever be justified and are shocked that such brutality continues today. We watched it on Sky News in horror. It is indescribable watching the Save The Dolphin campaigners swimming out on their surf boards in an attempt to stop the fishermen getting close to the dolphins enclosed in the pens. The fishermen turn their propeller engines on the campaigners and stab at them with fishing hooks. You can see the water is red with blood and the angry fishermen are very aggressive with any reporters who try to get close to the ugly scene. In the pen young dolphins swim around, waiting for their fate. They say that the it takes about 6 minutes for the dolphins to die and that they cry and scream in agony. Every season the Japanese fishermen kill around 1200 dolphins and sell many to be used as tourist attractions. The world should not sit by and let this happen. Please check out www.savejapandolphins.org

We are thankful that our dolphins in Kenya are for the most part safe, and that they can swim around in peace, enjoying our oceans. What is it about human nature that allows such senseless destruction and devastation? From watching dolphins play around in front of Chale Island yesterday to watching this awful coverage today, we are just stricken.

Volunteering!!

We are looking forward to first volunteer of the season Rachel who arrives tomorrow! She will be joined by another group towards the middle of November and there is plenty to keep us all busy as the whale shark season kicks off. I went diving today and although we were joined by a group of dolphins (always a bonus) – no whale sharks yet. Volunteers with our project live on our compound in a cottage called the Gatehouse. Their days are filled various jobs such as:

– carrying out whale shark surveys

– analysing sighting data

– making presentations in schools and hotels

– helping us in the fibre-glass turtle workshop

– making signboards and posters

– night watches for turtles and other marine life

– updating our website and blog

– helping with other awareness raising and fund raising initiatives

We depend a great deal on the good will of volunteers who kindly give us their time and experience. We live in a beautiful part of the world and can all but guarantee you an amazing time. The people are friendly, the weather is amazing and the beaches are breathtaking. Most of all though by volunteering you will be giving something back to the wonderful planet that we call home.

arno2004 022.jpg

Art Exhibition

Inter school Art Exhibition “SAVE THE WHALE SHARKS!” to be held at Leisure Lodge from 12 -16 November 2007 from 11am daily. Come and see what the children of Diani have done to save the gentle giants of the ocean! Everyone is welcome so tell all your friends.

wsarklogotextblue.jpg

Whale Shark Bronze

This beautiful whale shark bronze was done by an artist in Sweden. The attention to detail in the work is incredible. The artist would be happy to make more so please let me know if you are interested! Christmas is coming up!!

IMG_1588edit3.JPG

Universeum supports the whale shark!

Universeum is a non-profit public aquarium with 3 million litres of water, a Swedish landscape, a South American rainforest and a science centre. It is located in Gothenburg on the Swedish west coast. The establishment opened to the general public in June 2001 and has about half a million visitors yearly. Jan Westin, the creator of Universeum is one of our trustees.

The purpose of Universeum is to awaken the visitor’s environmental awareness and to get young people interested in natural sciences and technology. The whale shark project is a perfect means of achieving this goal. The study to reveal the mysteries of these gentle giants engages researchers from many different fields using high tech equipment and sophisticated analysing methods.

IMG_1333 edit.JPG

Universeum have dedicated an entire wall to the whale shark and collect funds from their many visitors. We visited Universeum in 2006 and Volker gave a series of talks about the project. We are really grateful for their kind and continued support.

IMG_1334 edit.JPG

Thank you Universeum!!

Big Turtle Nest

Yesterday morning we got a call to a neighbour’s house. A large turtle had laid her eggs just in front of their house. I called Watamu Turtle Watch (who are the local experts) whilst Volker went over straight away. We were advised to make sure the nest was covered up properly and marked appropriately. In 50-60 days from now those little turtles will hopefully hatch and make their way down to the ocean. We have to make sure that any bright lights around the nest are switched off because this can cause the hatchlings to become disoriented. We will have some volunteers around that time so they will be fortunate enough to do nightly stake outs, watching for the hatchlings to appear.

Turtle hatchlings have a few days of energy from their yolk sac after they hatch. This small store of energy has to help them dig their way out of the nest, make their way to the ocean and swim out to sea to their feeding grounds. Often people are tempted to help the baby turtles on their journey from the nest. This doesn’t help the turtles at all and is in fact counter-destructive. They need to find their own way to the ocean to prepare them by getting their circulation going and muscles working. Turtles respond to the earth’s magnetic forces and this helps them navigate the seas. To interrupt this journey may interfere with this important ability, which means that the turtle might get lost in the ocean. Female turtles return to the beach they were born to lay their own eggs some 20-30 years later.

From egg to adult only one in a thousand turtles will survive to return to their nesting beach.

You really can help make a difference. Donate to us or go to www.watamuturtles.com and dig deep to save our turtles!

IMG_0434 edit.JPG

This is the nest and you can see the laboured tracks made by the mother turtle as she slogged up the beach to lay her eggs.

IMG_0432 edit.JPG