» gandhinagar, gujarat »
Outside The Whale
A popular preacher (Morari Bapu), wildlife NGOs (the Wildlife Trust of India and the International Fund for Animal Welfare), the Gujarat forest department and two major business corporations (Tata Chemicals Ltd and the Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Ltd) have come together to protect an endangered species—the whale shark—off the Gujarat coast. The whale shark, the first fish to be included in the Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act in May 2001, is slaughtered in large numbers off the Gujarat coast for its oil and meat, which are exported to south-east Asia. Its hunting and trade continues in a clandestine fashion even now.