Reading underwater for Whale Shark Day

Ellen Prager has done research underwater and lived underwater, so reading underwater isn’t completely out of the question.

That’s why the marine scientist and author could be found Saturday inside the Ocean Voyager tank at the Georgia Aquarium, reading one of her young adult books, “The Shark Rider,” in the company of an actual shark.

While Prager relied on scuba gear and an underwater microphone, her audience of children remained on dry land, in the Ocean Voyager theater, peering through a two-foot-thick acrylic window.

The aquarium was celebrating Whale Shark Day on Saturday, Aug. 29, though the occasion is observed internationally on Sunday, Aug. 30. In addition to her human audience, Prager was observed by the aquarium’s four whale sharks, the largest residents of the Ocean Voyager exhibit.

The aquarium has been involved in whale shark conservation work for years, and recently raised concerns about the impact of eco-tourism on whale shark populations near the Yucatan peninsula.

“I love interacting with kids about my books,” said Prager and “doing it while diving in Georgia Aquarium’s Ocean Voyager exhibit provides added excitement.”

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