The Madagascar Whaleshark Project has announced a new way for ocean-lovers to support its efforts to protect endangered whalesharks. The project has launched a donation-based Patreon page to enable followers to support its vital work through a monthly subscription while benefitting from brilliant insights and exclusive content at the same time!
Stella Diamant, founder of the Madagascar Whaleshark Project, took the initiative to set up the Patreon to share the knowledge she’s gathered from setting up her project so other scientists and conservationists can benefit. On the Patreon page, Stella and her team will open the doors of the project to share exclusive content and behind-the-scenes snippets for everyone that loves the ocean as well as advice for those progressing in their conservation careers.
She’ll interview inspirational figures from her network of marine scientists and experts to find out about their epic ocean stories, expertise and fieldwork. Supporters will also have early access to trips, volunteering opportunities and even the chance to name a whaleshark before anybody else!
Stella said: “When I set up the Madagascar Whaleshark Project, I learned how to set up a conservation not-for-profit simply by doing it. I felt there was a stark lack of information about the realities of working in the conservation sector and running a successful organisation. Lots of charities are happy to talk about their successes. But when it comes to the challenges, delays and frustrations, it’s often hard to find the truth about what it’s really like.”
She continued: “I don’t think it's helpful – for individuals or the sector as a whole – if we’re only sharing what went well. That’s why I invest my time to empower other conservationists, particularly women and younger generations, to set up their own projects and share actionable advice. I also want to help people realise that you don’t have to be a marine biologist to make a difference. Marine conservation NGOs need lots of other skills: from marketing and photography to finance and project management.
I’ve set up this Patreon to give people the knowledge that will help them thrive in their conservation careers – whether or not they come from a science background. This kind of practical information is lacking on so many topics relevant to the conservation industry which means there’s a large knowledge gap in NGOs around the world. And, of course, we’re so grateful to everyone who joins for their support to keep our project thriving too.”
Supporters can choose how deep to dive by selecting one of four levels:
· Shallow (€3 per month): becoming part of a passionate community dedicated to protecting the ocean by making a regular monthly donation
· Mid-water (€8 per month): for exclusive project updates, behind-the-scenes insights and a sneak peek into Stella’s monthly interviews with conservation experts
· Deep (€15 per month): with monthly hour-long chats with the world’s leading conservation experts to benefit from their life-changing advice
· Abyss (€150 per month): early access to trips and volunteering opportunities, one-to-one time with Stella and the chance to name a whaleshark
When Stella saw her first ever whaleshark in Nosy Be, Madagascar in 2014, no work had been undertaken to establish population size, trends or how they connect with other regional groups. So, Stella set up a project with tourism operators in the region to find out this important information. Since then, the project has identified over 400 individual whalesharks, published several peer-reviewed studies, implemented a code of conduct and initiated a local education programme. Now, she’ll be sharing her extensive expertise with other conservation professionals and ocean-lovers through the Patreon page.
Photo credit: Stella Diamant