Marine Conservation in Indonesia, Whale Sharks #GoTagMe Sailing boat icon #GoTagMe
Go Tag Me2020-10-03T03:09:13+08:00

“The first fundraiser dedicated to Whale Sharks tagging in Indonesia”

Ran by Adelaar for Conservation International – #GoTagMe


In collaboration with Conservation International, we now announce the launch of our Whale Shark fundraiser: #GoTagMe.
The money raised will be used to purchase tags & host a tagging operation of Indonesian Whale Sharks aboard Adelaar. The average cost of a tag is $6500, and all donors will be invited to follow this adventure with us. The first donation to this project was made in memory of Neal Baltz and his partner Patricia Beitzinger. Avid divers, anticipating a Christmas trip onboard Adelaar, Neal and Patricia tragically perished in the Conception fire three months prior to the trip. We dedicate this first tag to them, and we invite you to support our conservation project with a donation.

Maddie St Clair Baker, the Whale sharks project ambassador.

Mads is an MSc tropical marine biologist, divemaster and founder of non-profit organisation, Women in Ocean Science. Originally from the UK, her obsession with the enthralling world of coral reefs has taken her across the globe. From marine bioacoustics to megafauna, she has a diverse background in tropical marine research, with a particular focus on manta rays. Seeing the destruction of the marine environment first-hand, in recent years Mads has also transitioned from scientist to an ocean advocate. She has channelled her energy into becoming a freelance underwater photographer and content creator, to document the changing world through her media and apparel company, Nü Wave.


“No water, no life. No blue, no green.”

Sylvia Earle

Conservation International


Whale Sharks tracker



Why are the Whale Sharks endangered?

The whale shark, like other shark and ray species, is a slow growing animal with low fecundity. Although not mainly hunted for their fins, in some parts of the world, whale sharks are still actively hunted by fishermen, mainly for their meat. As they often aggregate at the surface feeding, they are quite vulnerable to boat strikes and bycatch, resulting in injury or death. One of the most critical things about whale shark is that there’s very little knowledge of their biology and reproduction, which provides a huge challenge for us to properly protect them.

Why do we tag them?

Even though whale sharks are the biggest fish in the world, they are quite enigmatic. Whale sharks in coastal aggregation are indeed mainly dominated by juvenile and young adult males. Yet we don’t know where the juvenile females, adult individuals, and babies are. Information from the tagging program would provide us insight to their mysterious life and eventually provide us with important information in order to protect them.

How does it work?

Whale sharks often aggregate around “bagan” fishing vessels, attracted by the baitfish or mysid shrimps that the fishermen are targeting. As a result, some of the whale sharks are often accidentally trapped inside the fishing net. This unique opportunity allows us to get in the net with the whale shark to fix satellite tags directly into their dorsal fin. After released, whenever the dorsal fin breaches the surface of the water, the tag will send the collected data through satellite transmission for us to monitor, for up to 2 years of deployment.

What kind of data can we collect? How can it help the species?

The satellite tag mainly collect location data, but it also recorded depth and temperature. Through these data, we could see where the whale shark goes and what depth and temperature it goes to and how long it stays there. Moreover, these data would provide insight to their behaviour and movement pattern of the whale sharks, and directly uses as the basis to develop necessary regulation to ensure the sustainability of their population and inform the existing tourism management measure. Not only that, the data that is shared in CI’s Whale Shark Tracker would also increase the public’s awareness on whale shark conservation.

CI & Whale Sharks project in motion

How do we tag Whale Sharks?


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