I have to admit that I’m not a scientist. Apparently I know even less than I previously assumed. Who know what whale sharks are “whales”? And the secret location? Is it Isla Mujeres? We wouldn’t want them to start a whale shark watching industry there. Or maybe it’s Baja California? Same thing, I hope nobody starts whale shark watching there.
So what was this research that the local marine biologists needed his expert help with anyway? “I was helping out a team of marine biologists conduct a survey on whale shark population estimates, to identify returning sharks year on year and to see growth rates of individuals.” No wonder he needed to ride those sharks! I mean, how else could you measure a shark than by riding it. The watch you see on his wrist must be a super secret measuring device!
Anyway, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find any other references to anything remotely research related in the article here.
I did however find the real reason for Galante’s antics. On his facebook page he writes
“Hey I’m back in the #news!
Thanks Caters News Agency and Daily Mail for another fun interview and thank you to the team of hard working #biologists who are helping save these magnificent creatures! so proud to have been a part of it!
Luke Penks As a whale shark researcher, I find it such a shame that you are promoting incredibly bad practices like this. Interaction with any wild animal should be as non-invasive as possible, but you are spreading the opposite idea, which is disgraceful for a marine biologist.
Here’s a paper showing that touching sharks is hugely associated with stress: http://www.butandingnetwork.net/…/2014/05/2007-Quiros.pdf
- Marissa Fox Agree with Luke Penks. Promoting behavior like this counteracts the scientific conservation work so many of us are working so hard for.
Let’s go shark diving!
CEO Shark Diver
About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.