In a successful conservation story, Tata Chemicals Ltd partnered with the Wildlife Trust of India and the Gujarat State Forest Department, and rescued and released 813 whale sharks into the Arabian Sea since the year 2004. The Chief, CSR & Sustainability, Tata Chemicals Ms. Alka Talwar said street play based on whale sharks was performed at all fishing settlements along the Saurashtra coast and had an overwhelming impact on the communities who pledged to protect the species.
The project was launched with an aim to study and understand the whale shark habitat, map their migration, various aspects of its life cycle, their genetics patterns, estimate the population, and document the results for effective and efficient protection. Thousands of school children and young people were involved in the campaign across Gujarat through rallies, marches, postage stamps, drawing competitions in schools, exhibitions and fêtes with the whale shark conservation theme, which helped reposition the whale shark as the Pride of Gujarat.
Waterproof cameras were given to fishermen to capture photographs of the fish and of rescue operations both as proof for availing the cash relief from the Gujarat Forest Department and also to provide greater information about the Whale Sharks that visit the Gujarat coast.
As of March 2021, the project has rescued and saved 813 whale sharks. Zero incidents of whale shark poaching have been reported along the Saurashtra coast. To date, Mumbai-headquarters Tata Chemicals Ltd has spent 3.21 crore in this conservation protection.