Event Detail


The Giants of the Ocean: The Whale Sharks of Belize

Dr Rachel Graham
Thursday, 7 Apr 2005
Sports House
"The Giants of the Ocean:
The Whale Sharks of Belize"
Dr. Rachel Graham
Thursday, 7 April 2005
2/F Sports House, So Kong Po,
Causeway Bay
Drinks 6.30 pm; Lecture 7.30 pm We are delighted to welcome to Hong Kong Dr. Rachel Graham, a world expert on the whale sharks of the Caribbean. The world's largest fish, ocean giants such as the whale shark have long added fascination and fear in man's relationship with the sea. For all the fascination that they engender, however, relatively little is known about them. Dr. Rachel Graham, a conservation scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society's International Marine Programme is giving a richly illustrated lecture on the quest to discover the secrets of the world's largest fish. Relating years of research on whale sharks around the world, particularly the behaviour and conservation of whale sharks on the Belize barrier reef, Dr. Graham introduces the tools and techniques, including state of the art remote satellite technologies, used to study whale shark populations and behaviour and how these have provided insights that were previously unimagined. Dr. Graham relates the trials and tribulations of research in often difficult conditions and the astonishing results that she and her team have uncovered over the years and the implications these have for whale sharks worldwide. For the past seven years, Dr. Rachel Graham has been based in Belize where she is researching whale shark populations and movement in the Western Caribbean region and the tradeoffs between whale shark tourism and reeffish spawning aggregation fisheries in Belize. In 2004, Dr. Graham joined the Wildlife Conservation Society's International Marine Programme and expanded her research on the behaviour and habitat use of a range of economicallyimportant fish species to several countries. Part of her whale shark research was used in the successful proposal to protect whale sharks through the United Nations Convention for the International Trade in Endangered Species. Dr. Graham was educated at Oxford and holds a masters degree from Edinburgh and a doctorate from York. She has spent the last decade spent working in Central America. Dr. Graham has worked on a range of research, environmental and conservation projects with the United Nations Development Programme, The Global Environment Facility, The Smithsonian Institution, The University of York and several nongovernmental organisations. Dr. Graham serves on the scientific board of the Shark Trust and is a member of the World Conservation Union's (IUCN) Central American Shark Specialist Group. Members and their guests are most welcome to attend this lecture, which is HK$50 for Members, HK$100 for Members' guests and HK$150 for others.

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