4ocean Bali crews encountered this whale shark in an area heavily polluted by plastic

THREATS

Why whale sharks are disappearing from our oceans

Overfishing and microplastic pollution are the two biggest threats driving this endangered species toward extinction.

DECLINING POPULATIONS

The world’s whale shark population has decreased by more than half in just 75 years. The Indo-Pacific population has decreased by more than 63% since 1975. The Atlantic population has experienced a slower decline, which is largely due to regulation enforcement, but has still decreased by more than 30% in the same timeframe.

OCEAN PLASTIC

In addition to finding microplastic in their gills and all types of marine debris in their stomachs, researchers have also learned that exposure to the chemical pollutants that are absorbed by ocean plastic can alter whale sharks’ hormones and lead to a variety of health and reproductive issues that hinder population recovery.

OVERFISHING

Despite their endangered status and global conservation efforts, overfishing remains a major ongoing threat to whale sharks, especially those in unregulated areas, because their meat, fins, and oil are highly valued in international markets. Entanglement and bycatch are also potentially fatal threats associated with the commercial fishing industry.

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SMALL ACTS ADD UP

4 more ways to help whale sharks


GET INVOLVED

There are many ways to get involved in the clean ocean movement


SPREAD THE WORD

There’s always a way to help

We know times are tough for everyone right now, so if you’re unable to pull a pound today, we sure would appreciate it if you could share this page on social media with folks who might be able to do so.

Visibility is key to our mission and anything you can do to help spread awareness will make a huge difference.

Together, we can end the ocean plastic crisis.