The Whale Shark
The Whale Shark is the largest fish in the ocean and is considered to be the friendliest of all shark species. This shark feeds on plankton and small fish, and can easily be seen on the surface of the water. They are incredibly slow moving (swimming at approximately 5km per hour at top speed) and can be recognised by their brown, blue-grey and dark grey colour and creamy white spots which cover their back and white underside. They are also very flat and have a very wide mouth.
Whale Sharks are very harmless and curious, often swimming up close to divers and snorkelers. Whale Sharks tend to swim on the surface of the water and can be easily spotted. While divers and snorkelers can dive with these sharks without shark cage diving, it’s important that they don’t harass them as they’ll start to feel threatened and will dive down and away.
Where to see them
These sharks are most commonly found in temperate to tropical waters. They often enter bays and come up close to the shoreline. Most sightings are made in waters as deep as 820ft.
Whale Sharks can be found in the Philippines, Seychelles, Australia, USA, Belize, Honduras, Ecuador, Cuba and Mozambique, as well as South Africa, Thailand and the Maldives.