Commander Arun Patil earned a Bachelor of Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Aeronautics, and retired from the Indian Naval Aviation after 21 years of service. He was the founder director of the National Institute of Watersports from 1990 to 2003 and consultant to the various state tourism departments of the Indian Union. In this capacity, he developed the safety framework for watersports for India.
Since 2000, Commander Patil has directed SRI operations in India and conducted a fact-finding survey of the then flourishing whale shark industry off the Veraval coast in the state of Gujrat. After the ban on whale shark hunting by the Indian Government, he undertook another study evaluating the effectiveness of the ban and exploring alternate livelihoods for those who had been previously engaged in the whale shark fishing industry. Later, along with Suzy Quasnichka of SRI-UK, he conducted a study off the Diu coast south of Veraval to explore the possibility of establishing whale shark tourism. He also organizes diving and logistic support for conservation projects in and around India. Commander Patil’s administrative expertise is available for any SRI conservation project anywhere in the world.