For any ocean lover, swimming with whale sharks has to be on that top 50 bucket list things to do. One of the largest fish in the sea, can grow too about 40 feet in length, dark blue and with perfect white spots giving them this feel of a divine tribal look. In case you’ve never heard of a whale shark, it gets its name from its size and shark looks, although this animal is actually classified as a fish.
These carnivorous creatures eat only little fish, plankton, shrimp, and all sorts of goodies at the bottom of the ocean. These animals sore through the waters with their large jaws open, filtering out their food. These fish live up to 70 plus years and have “individual fingerprints” on each of them, this is their spots around their gills. These animals are also known for “hiding fish,” usually having them underneath the whale shark eating whatever they miss. Also little bottom feeders are known to hang onto these sharks sides eating excess algae of its’ skin.
Whale sharks can be found all over the world due to how far they migrate looking for food. It may seam that there is an abundance of these docile creatures but, know that they have been claimed as vulnerable and their population size is decreasing. Proper diving and snorkeling procedures are a must to preserve these fish. Reasons for this vulnerability includes pollution, boat collisions, and disturbance to their natural habitats- like loss of food and reckless tourism activities.
Swimming with whale sharks can be the greatest joy but it’s very important that it’s done right. When swimming with whale sharks its so important that it’s done the correct way because they do rely on it. Humans are the reason these animals were also put on the threat list. When choosing the right dive shop there are things to keep in mind, they don’t interrupt or alter their habitat or instincts. When animals forget how to live for themselves, like food and shelter, they loose their “fight” for food and to procreate. They loose everything they know to migrate and seek out food. These whale sharks are harmless but please to do not touch them, and stay at least 15 feet away.
While looking for a place to dive or snorkel with these creatures, pick a shop that knows about the animals they are taking you to see. They will not only inform you on facts about these animals but also teach you what’s happening to them. Getting to know where they live, good conservation practices, what they eat, to how you can help. Giving you an exponentially better tour, but leaving you much more informative. Whale sharks in their natural habitat will usually be in the deep waters of 3,000 plus feet. Another good tid bit, is that female whale sharks can have up too 300 pups in here at one time.
Some great places to see these animals is all along warm waters, the most common places to see them is; most of the Caribbean Sea (Mexico/ Honduras) and the Pacific Ocean (Australia/ Thailand/ Philippines).
For more info about whale sharks in don sol visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_shark