Kenya rejects proposal to capture and exploit whale sharks
Plans to create an artificial marine enclosure off the southern coast of Kenya and stock it with wild-caught specimens of the world’s largest fish – the whale shark – as a tourism attraction have been comprehensively rejected by the government of Kenya.
The judgement delivered by the National Environmental Management Authority of Kenya cited in their determination that the proposed project:
- Denied whale sharks their right to exist in their natural habitat
- Did not adequately engage with local communities
- Did not recognise that whale shark tourism can be promoted in the wild without capturing these animals
- Would have been in contravention of Kenya’s 1962 Animal Cruelty Act
NGOs presented their concerns at a Public Hearing held in Kenya in February 2013 and called for the proposal by Volker Bassen of Seaquarium Ltd to be rejected. Their sentiments were echoed by many people who wrote from all over the world to key Kenyan decision-makers expressing their dismay.
Read more on this success for marine welfare at Wildlife Extra by following the link