Whale Shark Conservation

Renowned for being the world's largest fish, whale sharks are perhaps one of the most curious creatures in the open ocean. Growing up to forty feet (12 metres, or the size of a bus!) and weighing up to 20 tonnes with beautiful polka-dot skin, whale sharks are simply magnificent. However, you need not be intimidated by this species of shark, as they are completely harmless and docile, filter feeding on plankton, small fish and krill!

Preferring warmer waters, the Indian Ocean provides one of the best locations in which to witness this graceful giant and participate in a one-of-a-kind whale shark conservation project. Our whale shark projects offer truly unique experiences, as not only will you be able to get up close and personal with these sharks – measuring and identifying them – but you will also come to recognise them individually as you continually carry out research that will help us to better understand these elusive fish, and therefore help to devise appropriate strategies to aid whale shark conservation. 

What better way to explore idyllic destinations such as the Maldives and Mafia Island than by joining a Whale Shark Conservation Project?

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 international black markets for their meat, fins and oil, and this means that they are becoming a species targeted by poachers.

There is such little information about whale shark populations that it's hard to determine their status. However, what is gathered from data that is available, we know that whale shark conservation efforts are desperately needed.

If things continue as they are at the moment, the whale shark is at risk of becoming extinct, and we would lose one of the world’s most gentle giants.

Threats Whale Sharks Are Facing

Due to their size, whale sharks have very few, if any natural predators and threats in the wild, but problems begin to occur for them when humans get involved.

  • Bycatch – whale sharks often get accidentally caught up in nets and fishing gear that was not aimed at them, and this conflict is often fatal.
  • Poaching – as mentioned, 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 in waters which are frequented by large boats with propellers; they are often struck by them and sustain fatal injuries.
Fast Facts
  • Whale Sharks can live up to 100 years.
  • Whale sharks are the largest fish on the planet.
  • They can have up to 300 pups per litter. The eggs grow inside of the mother and then the live pups are expelled into the water.
  • Whale sharks are in no way related to whales, despite their name. While it does cause many people confusion, their names come from the fact they are filter feeders, just like whales!

Projects Do More

Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 9BX
United Kingdom
Opening hours: 9am–5pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987

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