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Tracking 'Hope' the whale shark
25/03/2020 Ocean protection

Signals of ‘Hope’ in unprecedented times

An encouraging update on the progress of 'Hope', one of the whale sharks being tracked by the Galapagos Whale Shark Project.

Photograph of Ben Stockwell

Ben Stockwell

Former Communications & Membership Officer at Galapagos Conservation Trust

In our most recent blog, we updated you about the Galapagos Whale Shark Project’s latest trip to Galapagos. Deploying new state of the art satellite tags, the team is tracking whale sharks passing through Galapagos to depths not previously possible. A standout success of the trip was tracking whale shark #184027, or as she has later become known ‘Hope’, who travelled over 3000nm towards the Southern Pacific Ocean around French Polynesia in just a few months.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, positive news stories seem increasingly hard to come by. The aptly named Hope, however, has given us some much-needed cheer. Making a dramatic U-turn, she is now headed back towards the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR). Whilst it is early days, this is potentially an extremely important track, as it will be the very first migration fully recorded by satellite data. Up until now, the only records of a migration journey were through photo identification, whilst the longest ever satellite track is just one way and its validity is disputed.

We look forward to following Hope’s journey as it continues toward the Islands. 

Hope Galapagos - Is she returning?
Is ‘Hope’ returning to Galapagos? –

Ways to get involved

Please donate to our Endangered Sharks of Galapagos programme, which aims to protect whale sharks and other species within and outside of the GMR. Or why not purchase one of our whale shark t-shirts or jumpers? 


Galapagos Conservation Trust’s work on the proposed Cocos-Galapagos Swimway benefits from the support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

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