LAMAVE touch down in Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area to attend the 5th International Whale Shark Conference #IWSC5

LAMAVE researchers Gonzalo Araujo, Ariana Agustine, Tin Legaspi and Dr Jackie Ziegler will join the world's leading whale shark scientists, conservationists, natural resource managers and tourism managers at the 5th International Whale Shark Conference hosted between the 28-31 May 2019 in the town of Exmouth, WA Australia.

This is the fifth whale shark conference following on from the successful IWSC4 held in Doha, Qatar in 2016. It is also the first international conference to be held in Exmouth at the new Ningaloo Centre. As whale shark enthusiasts will know, Ningaloo Reef is one of the oldest whale shark tourism destinations in the world and the conference offers a unique opportunity to highlight the destinations best practices when it comes to managing whale shark tourism – a key theme of the conference which aims to bring together scientists, tourism managers and marine park managers.

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Recognised as hosting the second largest known population of whale sharks in the world, the Philippines is of global significance to the species. LAMAVE have been studying whale sharks in the Philippines since 2012 and our team are excited to share the latest research findings from our five study sites. First up is LAMAVE Project Leader Christin Legaspi who will be presenting about top-down versus bottom up management and how to find the balance when provisioning an endangered species. Christines’ presentation focuses on LAMAVEs ongoing collaborative work with the Local Government Unit of Oslob Cebu, the local community and other government departments (provincial, national).

Following Christine will be Dr Jackie Ziegler, whom has recently completed her PhD with the University of Victoria in collaboration with LAMAVE. Jackie will be sharing an insight into her social science research with a  focus on whale shark tourism as an incentive-based conservation approach. LAMAVE Executive Director Gonzalo Araujo will later present a holistic view of LAMAVEs whale shark research highlighting why the Philippines is a global hotspot for the world’s largest fish. Finally Project Leader Ariana Agustines will present the latest research findings from our whale shark research site in Palawan and how the individuals here are connected to other sites.  

The conference offers a unique opportunity to catch up with friends, partners and collaborators. If you are attending this year, do not hesitate to say hello to our team.

Key talks form our researchers:

May 28, 2019

  • 11:50-12:05: Top-down versus bottom-up management: finding the balance when provisioning an endangered species – Christine Legaspi

  • 12:05-12:20: Protecting an endangered species: whale shark tourism as an incentive-based conservation Approach - Jackie Ziegler

  • 14:05-14:20: Philippines: a global hotspot for the world's largest fish – Gonzalo Araujo

May 30, 2019

  • 9:20-9:35: Population dynamics, connectivity and movement of whale sharks from a global hotspot in Palawan, Philippines – Ariana Agustines

You can download a copy of the full program HERE.