logo logo

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Whale shark on 60 Minutes

Whale sharks are in danger of being hunted for their fins and now also the face the terrible fate of captivity. Liam Bartlett and 60 Minutes investigates.

Resorts World at Sentosa want to import whale sharks for their "marine life park" as well, we need to stop this cruelty in the name of research and conservation!

Marvels of the deep, 60 Minutes
September 9, 2007: It's the size of a bus, the biggest, most majestic fish in the sea. No wonder they call it the whale shark. And we can tell you, up close it looks pretty scary. Fortunately for Liam Bartlett, though, this particular monster from the deep is harmless, one of those gentle giants.

And that's been it's downfall. That and the fact it's considered a delicacy in Asia. But now there's a new, unexpected threat. It's become a huge tourist drawcard. A major attraction for super aquariums around the world. And, tragically, for the whale shark, that attraction can be fatal.

LIAM BARTLETT: But not all whale sharks thrive in captivity. Put simply, these big fish don't do well in small ponds. Two have already died here this year. On average, whale sharks in aquariums rarely survive more than three years. Extraordinary, considering they can live for up to 150 years in the ocean. If you've got state-of-the-art facilities and you've only got a 50 percent success rate do you still reject the notion that it's not good to keep these things in captivity?

PAUL WATSON (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society): The greatest impact is on the sharks. People might learn — they die. There must be other ways of learning without having to kill the animals.

RAY DAVIS (Georgia Aquarium): And we're not. What we have ...

PAUL WATSON: You already have. You already have.

LIAM BARTLETT: Gentleman, look at this. Look at the size of that. They dive to 1500 metres in the wild. This tank is 10 metres deep. How can that not be cruel?

RAY DAVIS: We take a look in understanding why do they dive deep — we have other animals that occur deep or move throughout a water column as well as migratory.

LIAM BARTLETT: Well, what does that mean, 'Move through a water column'. What does that mean? This thing dives up to 1500m in the wild. This is 10m deep.

PAUL WATSON: And it swims for thousands of miles.

RAY DAVIS: It's been demonstrated that animals that we see ranging widely do very well in zoos and aquarium settings.

Click here to watch the video

No comments:

Post a Comment