(From fsrn.org) Kenia – The whale shark is the biggest fish species in the ocean. Up to 18 meters long, this vegetarian is found across the world”s tropical waters, from Belize to northern Australia. Their huge dorsal fins, which make for highly prized culinary delicacies, fetch high prices on South-East Asian markets, leading them to be almost fished to extinction off India”s western coast a few years ago. On the other side of the Indian Ocean, whale sharks have come under threat in recent years off Kenya”s southern coast.
But there, they have been collateral damage: often accidentally trapped in drift nets donated by US AID to local fishers. A grassroots organization is now working to stem the damage caused by these nets which they say has been endangering not only the sharks, but the coral reef as well.