Before the mid 1990’s, whale sharks had little commercial value; however, the discovery
that whale shark flesh could be served as ‘Tofu shark’ in Asian restaurants created
an overnight market. Whale shark populations around Taiwan, India and the Philippines
soon became severely depleted to fulfil the market’s needs. This prompted the listing
of the species both on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
(CITES) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).
Ever since the first sighting off Seychelles, whale sharks have been recorded as
regular visitors to this area and in many ways prompted the formation of the MCSS
to find out more about the rare marine life of the region. Unfortunately, due to
very few sightings we no longer run our whale shark monitoring programme in Seychelles
but we still support a short term annual programme in Djibouti.