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Noted marine biologists from some of the world’s most prestigious research institutions will present their research at the Third Annual Whale Shark Festival in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, this July, it was announced today.
The scientists — who hail from the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, the Center for Shark Research/Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida and Mexico’s Project Domino — will discuss marine conservation and whale shark preservation during an Academic Conference to be held concurrently with the Whale Shark Festival July 16-18, 2010 in Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
The Academic Conference will be held July 17, 2010 at City Hall, Isla Mujeres. Admission is free. Members of the scientific community as well as the general public are welcome.
"It’s exciting for the Georgia Aquarium to continue working with Project Domino in studying the whale sharks of Quintana Roo. The waters of the Yucatan are home to the most exceptional gathering of whale sharks known to science and a host of other beautiful and important marine species," said Dr. Al Dove, Senior Scientist, Georgia Aquarium and presenter at the Whale Shark Festival. "The ongoing oil spill elsewhere in the Gulf of Mexico shows us how vulnerable these marine ecosystems can be, so research and conservation is more important than ever. For all these reasons, it is a privilege to be a marine biologist working in this region, at this time."
"We are thrilled to have such noted researchers participate in the Academic Seminars. They have come from all over the world to present their conclusions on whale shark migration and preservation," said John Vater, co-founder of ecotourism travel agency Ceviche Tours, a key sponsor of the Whale Shark Festival. "This is an important time to study marine conservation and how to protect our oceans and its inhabitants."
The schedule for the Academic Conference is as follows:
July 17, 2010
"The Utila Connection"
Research collaboration program of the Whale Shark between México-Honduras
Presented by Biol. Beatriz Eugenia Galván Pastoriza, Project Domino, Mexico
"Afuera 2009, an extraordinary aggregation of Whale Sharks."
Biol. Rafael de la Parra Venegas, Coordinator, Project Domino, Mexico
"Threats for Whale Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico."
Dr. Robert Hueter, Director, Center for Shark Research, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, Florida, E.U.A.
"Whale Sharks: from the aquarium to the sea."
Dr. Al Dove, Senior Scientist, Georgia Aquarium
About the Whale Shark Festival
The Whale Shark Festival is an effort to raise awareness of the need to preserve the area’s marine ecosystem. It is a community extravaganza that showcases the achievements, the traditions and the environmental splendor of Isla Mujeres. Last year thousands flocked to the family-friendly Whale Shark Festival, which offers guests an opportunity to participate in ecotourism adventures such as swimming with whale sharks, the largest fish in the ocean and an endangered species; traditional dancing performed by local troupes; exploring ancient Mayan ruins and much more.