Despite growing up to 15m in length and weighing up to 4 tonnes, the worlds largest fish, the Whale Shark, is completely harmless to divers, feeding only on plankton and small fish which are filtered from the ocean as they cruise around the warm waters of countries such as Australia, Mexico, Honduras, Hawaii and Thailand.
Although some areas of the world have a specific Whale Shark season – being a specific time of year that these animals usually migrate through – here in Thailand, we are lucky enough to be in a year-round hang-out spot for these awesome creatures. These rare beauties can turn up out of the blue whenever and wherever they feel like it, so getting the chance to see one underwater is considered extremely lucky. Dive sites such as Chumpon Pinnacle, South West Pinnacle, and Shark Island at Koh Tao, are famous for visits from these guys, so spending time in the waters of Koh Tao is sure to increase those chances, and we consider ourselves very lucky to have the opportunity to experience their silent jaw-dropping presence!
Here on the island there is a lot of respect for these Docile Dudes, so we have in place “whale shark” standards to adhere to, and divers around here are prepared to behave appropriately in the case of a sighting (DO NOT TOUCH), making the experience equally as peaceful for the animal as the diver, and hopefully encouraging their return for many years to come.
If you do get the chance to see a Whale Shark, please take the time to record this at www.marineconservationkohtao.com so we can monitor and gether data on Whale Sharks.