Volunteer With Whale Sharks

Whale sharks are renowned for being the world's largest fish, and are perhaps one of the most curious creatures to roam the open ocean. They can grow up to forty feet (twelve metres, or the size of a bus!), weigh up to 20 tonnes and with their beautiful polka-dot skin, whale sharks are simply magnificent. However, there is no need to feel intimidated by this species of shark, they are completely harmless and filter feed on plankton, small fish and krill!

However, whale sharks face major threats from fatal boat collisions, hunting and ocean pollution, and their elusive nature means that ecological data and population numbers are difficult to calculate. However, by volunteering with whale sharks, you can play a vital role in whale shark conservation by helping to gather data on these spotted beauties, educate tourists on how to have responsible whale shark experiences and learn about their biology. What’s more, you have the chance of appreciating the sheer size of the fish as you swim with them right there in the water.

Check out our various whale shark volunteer programs on offer here at The Great Projects in a range of simply stunning destinations, from the island paradise of the Maldives to the African tropics of Mafia Island. There’s no better way to see the world than by helping to preserve its most vulnerable species during your travels, so secure a place to volunteer with whale sharks today.

Whale Sharks At A Glance

ENDANGERED STATUS
Endangered
NUMBER REMAINING IN THE WILD
Number Unknown
ENDEMIC REGION
Warm Oceans Across The World

How Endangered Are Whale Sharks

Whale sharks are highly valued on the black market for their oil, fins and meat. This has resulted in poachers targeting the species.

Whale sharks are so elusive, and they can also be found across many oceans, so calculating populations is extremely difficult. However, from research conducted over recent years, whale sharks have been listed as endangered. These fish are in very real danger of extinction and by volunteering with whale sharks, you could play a role in trying to stop this from happening.

Threats Whale Sharks Are Facing

Whale sharks have very few, if any, natural predators and threats in the wild, but problems but they do face a very imminent threat from humans.

  • Bycatch – all too often, whale sharks are accidentally caught up in nets and fishing gear that was not intended for them, and this conflict is often fatal.
  • Poaching – these fish are prized for their fins, meat, and oil and thousands are killed each year for this reason.
  • Collisions With boats – as whale sharks feed close to the ocean’s surface, this means they are often struck by boats which all too often, is fatal for the sharks.
Fast Facts
  • Whale Sharks are known to live to be 100 years old.
  • Whale sharks are the biggest fish on the planet.
  • They can birth up to 300 live young per litter.
  • Whale sharks are in no way related to whales, despite what some may think. While it does cause some confusion, their names stem from the fact they are filter feeders, just like whales!

Projects Do More

Whale Shark Articles

Will's Experience on the Whale Shark Research Project

Take a look at Will Smith's experience on the Whale Shark Research Project in July 2019


International Whale Shark Day - A Majestic Species At Risk...Due To Tourism?

The 30th of August is International Whale Shark Day - but did you know that this majestic species is now endangered? From unsustainable tourism practices to the ever-looming threat of bycatch, read on to learn about the greatest risks facing this beautiful marine mammoth - and find out how you can help to protect it.


Is Discovery Channel's 'Shark Week' Doing More Harm Than Good?

Is the Discovery Channel's annual 'Shark Week' encouraging the fear of sharks rather than raising awareness of shark conservation needs? Check out the three documentaries recommended in this blog that will change your perception on sharks and show you the real plight these animals are facing.


Shark Awareness Day 2018 - An Animal To Be Revered, Not Feared

Shark Awareness Day 2018 - An Animal To Be Revered, Not Feared

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Is Last-Minute Volunteering More Exciting?

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Help Keep Our Oceans Clean This Mother Ocean Day!

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Katie's Review Of The Maldives Whale Shark Research Project- Saving Turtles, Swimming With Whale Sharks, And Meeting New Friends!

Katie's Review Of The Maldives Whale Shark Research Project- Saving Turtles, Swimming With Whale Sharks, And Meeting New Friends!

Back in 2017, Katie volunteered on the Maldives Whale Shark...

Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 7DX
United Kingdom

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   Sat 10am-4pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987

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