The Whale Shark is a true icon of the oceans, the world largest fish! Weighing in at up to 20+ tonnes, it can grow to lengths in excess of 14m – a true ocean giant. Whale Sharks are thought to live to over 70 years old, and do not reach sexual maturity until around 30. We know little about breeding & birthing practices of Whale Sharks, but they produce live young which are less than 50cm big at birth. Their head is flattened, they are carnivorous and they feed on zooplankton, small fish and fish eggs, which they filter by opening their mouth wide.
For divers and ocean lovers alike, the Whale Shark is a species that is an encounter like no other; it can feel defining and soul touching. They glide with such majestic grace, slowly moving their tail from side to side, watching them is almost mesmerizing. Remaining calm and not getting too close is important for a good encounter, if spooked Whale Sharks can move at a considerable pace.
There are rules that need to be followed when encountering Whale Sharks, please take some time to watch the below video to learn how to have respectful and epic encounter!
Due to their size, whale sharks have very few, if any natural predators, the threat to Whale Sharks is humans. They are regularly killed or injured by becoming by catch or even via collisions with boats but poaching remains the biggest threat. Their fins, meat and oil are extremely valuable to the Asian market and many Whale Sharks are killed each year to fulfil this demand.
Why not take a look at our ‘Dive & Stay’ and ‘Liveaboard’ adventures where you can encounter this animal by clicking on the tabs on the left.