Utila whale shark round-up for 2008

Posted on March 5, 2009
Written by: Shark Savers

Utila Whale Shark News
Dedicated to collecting and sharing whale shark information around Utila, Honduras
February 15, 2009

2008 Numbers

Welcome to a new season... which we can hardly start without stating a few numbers about what all everybody’s good work helped to achieve for 2008. The greatest achievement this year is without doubt the sheer amount of encounters recorded.

  • 56 encounter days were recorded for 2008, out of that we identified
  • 23 male, 5 female and 46 unknown...

...showing that we shall have to work harder on making sure divemasters and instructors know how to safely tell the boys from the girls.
I shall go over that in a later edition.

The Big Scoop

The most exciting thing to come out of our information gathering so far is that in 2008 there were encounters recorded on every month. The “March-April / September” season we go by may actually extend to the full year. Obviously one year only of information is not enough to take it for granted. The effort we put forward in the future will help tell.

The cherry on the sundae?

Utila was the only location in the world to report sightings on every month of 2008! Is it an isolated event, an exceptional year or have we just been more vigilant and consistent in the information gathering?

What I can tell you, good people, is that this amazing discovery was possible due to dive shops /resorts staff’s enthusiasm and realising how important it is to fill out Encounter Forms and get photos on Ecocean.
Thank you for making such an impact.

Leap Forward with Ecocean Photo ID database

Ecocean is a Photo Identification database with which we can compare whale sharks photos and therefore work on knowing how many visit our waters for the first time or as a returning guest.
16 new individual Utilian whale sharks were added to the library in 2008, bringing the total to 70.
Shall we bring this up to three digits this year?
Should you be curious about our sharks, visit whaleshark.org

Thank you for being here getting informed.
Do tell us of any comments, questions or suggestions you may have.

Isabelle Foisy
Utila Whale Shark Research