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Friday, January 2, 2009

Whale sharks net a saviour

Happy New Year! I hope everybody had a good break over Christmas. I've been busy with preparations for 2009 and our campaign events will be revealed very shortly.

Meanwhile, here's a nice snippet from India again to start the new year on a happy and hopeful note. Remember, we all can make a difference, no matter how small!

Our unsung heroes
1 Jan 2009, 1408 hrs IST, The Times of India

Once indiscriminately slaughtered by fishermen in the coastal areas of Saurashtra in Gujarat, the endangered whale shark has found an unlikely saviour in Dinesh Goswami. Goswami, who learnt about the fate of whale sharks in a documentary by environmentalist Mike Pandey, decided to make it his mission to save them.

Every time a whale shark gets caught in a fishing net, he rushes to the rescue. Even if it means giving up his daily wage of Rs 160 at a private company in Sutrapada taluka of Junagadh district.

Most times, it's not an easy mission. Rough weather and a choppy sea make it a risky affair. But a saved whale shark is worth all the trouble, says Goswami, who has rescued as many as 50 so far.

Describing his most dangerous rescue so far, Goswami recounts, "State officials called me after reports that a shark was trapped in a net. After we set off, the sea got very rough and every minute, we thought the boat would overturn. Thankfully, we managed to save the whale shark and return safely." Goswami now runs Paryawaran Mitra, an NGO for the protection of sea animals.

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