The catching of whale sharks is now prohibited in the Philippines and international conservation and management plans are encouraged by its listing on Appendix II of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) (4). In an historic move in 2002, the whale shark was included on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) (3). These awesome creatures are now an important part of the tourism industry in Thailand, South Africa, Seychelles, Mozambique, Honduras and the Maldives (10). They make annual visits to the northwest coast of Australia, where they are found within the Ningaloo Marine Park and provide a massive tourist attraction. The Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) has produced strict guidelines and protection measures in order to minimise the impact of shark-watching tours, and research projects in the area hope to understand these mysterious giants further (8).
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