The mysteries of pregnant whale sharks

October 17, 2018

Overview

MMF’s mission is to save threatened marine life using pioneering research, education, and sustainable conservation solutions, working towards a world where marine life and humans thrive together. The charity conducts pioneering research on marine megafauna and uses scientific evidence to educate the public and government to influence long-lasting conservation strategies.

The challenge

Researchers in the Galapagos (including MMF’s co-Founder Simon Pierce) successfully completed ultrasounds on free-swimming whale sharks and took blood samples from adult whale sharks for the first time ever in the wild. The incredible results allowed them to see and identify reproductive organs, such as the ovaries, and even developing follicles. They needed help making a splash in the press about these exciting new technologies, which hold promise for finally unlocking the mystery of breeding in the world’s largest sharks.

The strategy

  • Compiled a tailored, targeted press list
  • Drafted and distributed a hard-hitting press release based on the most media-worthy results of the study

The results

  • 67 pieces of coverage secured
  • Highlights included: The Times, Reuters, Washington Post, Evening Standard, Daily Mail, DIVE magazine and Scuba Diver magazine.

Melissa was a Pro Bono Communications Consultant for MMF during 2018.

The research was conducted by a team of global whale shark experts, comprised of scientists and conservationists from the Galapagos Whale Shark Project (Ecuador), Galapagos National Park (Ecuador), Okinawa Churashima Foundation (Japan), University of San Francisco/Galapagos Science Center (Ecuador) and the Marine Megafauna Foundation (USA).

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