World Oceans Day - Discover the Whale Shark
The 8th June 2020 is the flagship day for World Oceans Day, a growing international movement that is calling on governments worldwide to protect 30% of our oceans by 2030. The concept was originally suggested by Canadian delegates at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and it has been building in popularity ever since. In 2019 World Oceans Day inspired more than 2000 events in more than 140 countries and this year the aim is to achieve over 3000 events in 150 countries. Search #ProtectOurHome on social media to see what events are taking place worldwide for 2020.
Here at Wild & Fine, we are marking this day and supporting this hugely important cause the best way we now how; by launching our whale shark pendant design and donating 15% of each sale to World Oceans Day. Jess saw her first shark on a diving trip to Thailand last year. Admittedly it was a leopard shark, not a whale shark, but it inspired the creation of this distinctive pendant. Whether you are a keen diver with stories to tell about your underwater encounters with sharks or an aesthete who admires the fluidity of movement captured in sterling silver, this pendant is a stand out summer accessory and a conversation starter.
We are celebrating its launch on our website with 10 interesting facts, which we know from personal experience can come in useful at pub quizzes! Let’s get to know the whale shark a bit better…
1. It is not actually a whale, but the largest extant fish species. Whale sharks regularly grow up to 12m in length, with the longest recorded measurement being 62ft, which is nearly 19 meters of shark!
2. Rather than giving birth to a small number of very large babies, as many other shark species do, the whale shark gives birth to a large number of very small babies. It is believed that less than 10% of whale sharks survive to adulthood, but if they can avoid disease, predation or any other untimely end they can live for up to 150 years.
3. They subscribe to the turtle’s approach to journeys rather than the hare’s, swimming very slowly (around 3mph) but capable of migrating thousands of miles in search of new feeding grounds.
4. Whale sharks can be found in all temperate and tropical oceans around the world, except the Mediterranean.
5. Sometimes nicknamed gentle giants, whale sharks can neither bite nor chew. They are filter feeders and although they can open their mouths up to 4ft wide, the largest thing they are capable of eating is a shrimp or a small fish (but their favourite food is plankton)
6. Whale sharks have 3000 teeth but they don’t use them for eating.
7. Whale sharks are covered in white spots and each fish has its own unique spot pattern. This means that, with a bit of help from some computer software originally intended for mapping stars, it is possible to identify individual whale sharks and track their movements in the ocean.
8. August 30th is International Whale Shark Day (but we are too excited to share this new design with you, so we couldn’t wait that long for the launch). Whale Shark Day was first designated in 2008, when experts at the International Whale Shark Conference on Isla Holbox, off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, decided that there should be a day dedicated to celebrating the many things there are to love about the whale shark. Intended to act as an annual focus for educating people and protecting the species for future generations, it is a great opportunity to get involved with ocean conservation projects and to learn more about this beautiful creature.
9. Whale sharks are currently listed as a vulnerable species as they continue to be hunted in parts of Asia, such as the Philippines, where their fins are used for delicacies such as shark fin soup.
10. Swimming with whale sharks is an increasingly popular activity, so if you want to meet one of these beautiful creatures in its natural habitat, make sure you do it responsibly, so as not to put unnecessary strain on an already vulnerable population. Mexico is a great destination for seeing whale sharks and it is possible to find ethical tour organisers who can ensure that you cause minimum disruption whilst you are there.
Pre-order your whale shark pendant here and support World Oceans Day in the process. Orders will be ready for dispatch at the end of June 2020 and we will keep you updated on our social channels about the total we are able to donate to World Oceans Day as a result of your orders.