ECOCEAN carries out various educational outreach activities in Australia and overseas to ensure our core objective of increasing community awareness of the conservation status of the whale shark and its surrounding marine environment is achieved. Our work with community education in Western Australia was recognised when awarded the Premier’s Science Award (Outreach Program of the Year) in 2009.



The ECOCEAN satellite tracking program is open to schools to participate in the research and help to solve the mystery of where whale shark goes to breed!

The research will target large, mature whale sharks, and with the involvement of schools, may uncover whether or not older sharks and their younger counterparts embark on the same migration routes.

It will cost the school, or a network $5 000 to have a tag put on a shark. From May to August 2020 ECOCEAN scientists will search for the perfect shark to tag for your school. The Race officially begins during National Science Week on Monday, 14 August 2020 and the tracks of the tagged sharks will be displayed on the ZoaTrack website and schools will able to track the journey of their whale shark.


Teachers and students will be able to use the ZoaTrack visualisation and analysis tools in their lessons and will have access to the ongoing tracking of the sharks.
Involvement in the race will support students and teachers to further develop their STEM capabilities, including: critical analysis and creative thinking, deepen their knowledge and understanding of the whale shark, the marine environment of Western Australia and scientific research. Teaching and learning resources developed by Statewide Services at the Department of Education are designed to support teachers and students to engage in innovative and interactive STEM learning activities.

In addition, ECOCEAN scientists will be available to deliver an online Saba session for participating schools to share information and video footage as well as an online link up direct from the field with each participating school.

2020 Race Around the World expressions of interest closes on 25 of March 2020 – Payment due on 1 May 2020 – Race goes from 15 to 29 of August – Finish line celebrations on 7 of September – Places are limited, start fundraising now!

For more information, please contact us.


Citizen science is scientific research conducted by volunteer community members, often partner with professional scientists to achieve common goals and allow them to accomplish tasks that would be too expensive or time consuming to accomplish through other means. They also allow professional scientists to have numerous people ‘on the ground’ to collect data when they can’t be everywhere at once.

The ECOCEAN citizen science program allows any member of the community to be involved in collecting important identification data on whale sharks. Citizen scientists across the world can take a photo of the spot patterns on the skin of a whale shark and enter the photo into the Wildbook for Whale Sharks (previously known as the ECOCEAN Whale Shark Photo-identification Library). ECOCEAN will then use this photo as a way to identify the whale shark, determine its movements and if it has been seen in the same area before.

Stumpy was named after his ‘stumpy tail’, a very distinguishable feature.

Meet ‘Stumpy’ and his friends – some of the regular visitors to Ningaloo. Stumpy was first seen in 1995 and continues to return to Ningaloo on a regular basis. Click on the links below to take you to Wildbook and see what these whale sharks have been up to!

Stumpy A-001 , Scarface A-013 , A-029 , Zorro A-041


ECOCEAN heavily rely on volunteers to carry out a lot of our work. We encourage people with a keen interest in the marine environment, contribute to our core objectives of research, education and conservation.

For more information, please contact us.

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