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Threats faced by Whale Shark

 Shark that had washed up on Odisha coastline has reportedly died due to ill health. So let's talk about the range habitat and the threats faced by Whale Shark. The Whale Shark is considered to be one of the largest species of fish and it is the largest living non-mammalian vertebrate. Then, if you look at its range and habitat, it is found around the world in the tropical waters and then warm seas and oceans. Generally, Whale Sharks are found in waters that record a temperature of at least 21 degrees Celsius. So they preferred warm tropical waters, and they are found in the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and as well as in the Indian Ocean, and the most preferred habitat of Whale Sharks are open waters in the tropical areas. In some cases, they might even be found along the coastline, but they are never found in the deeper parts of the oceans, and the IUCN has listed the Whale Shark as endangered on its red list. The most unique feature about a Whale Shark has to be its feeding habit. Whale Sharks are considered to be filter feeders. They have a very huge mouth, which sucks up huge volumes of food like a vacuum cleaner, and they primarily feed on plantains, small fish, krill, etc. Now, let us talk about the threats faced by Whale Sharks. The biggest threat has to be overfishing. See, Whale Sharks are hunted for its meat for the fins, oil, skin, etc. And overfishing has emerged as a major threat to this species. Even vessel strikes are a major threat that Whale Sharks can collide accidentally with ships and submarines, and this is also a threat to the species. Then, of course, pollution of the waters, especially Oil Pollution, and climate change, also can be considered as a significant risk to the survival of the species. So due to the significant threat faced by the species, the IUCN has listed the Whale Shark as endangered on its red list. It has also been listed under the memorandum on migratory under the CMS convention because Whale Sharks are migratory nature. Then it has also been listed under appendix two of the sites convention SITES stands for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The objective of this convention is to ensure that international trade of endangered species of animals and plants doesn't pose a threat to the survival of the species in the wild. So to achieve this objective, the SITES convention prohibits international trade of endangered species that have been listed under appendix one. And it strictly regulates the international trade of endangered species that have been listed under appendix two. And also remember that India and a few other countries have banned whale shark fishing and the commercial important export of its products.


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