The Whale shark season is usually the months of March and October but this year already around the dive sites of Koh Tao there have been an abundance of sightings of this beautiful creature, especially during the month of May. The Whale shark is a filter feeder and feeds almost exclusively on plankton. They are of no threat to humans and the largest recorded specimen was just over 12mtrs in lengh making them the largest fish in the sea. Although many divers seem to of seen much larger ones.
They are rarely found in waters below 22c so the Gulf of Thailand is an ideal habitat for them. Whale sharks have very large mouths and are filter feeders, which is a feeding mode that occurs in only two other sharks, The Megamouth Shark and the Basking Shark. They are a gentle giant but you must respect that if you get the chance to dive with one, then you keep your distance and do not attempt to touch or ride them.
Did you know that the Whale shark can be identified by their unique spot pattering? If you have a camera with you when you meet one of these giants, then take photos of the spot patterning behind the gills. You can then submit your photos to Ecoceans online data base at https://www.whaleshark.org
Remember when you meet these magnificent creatures:
Stay 3 meters away from its body and 5 meters away from the tail.
Position yourself perpendicular to just behind its right or left hand side fin closest to the gills.
If the Whale shark has any noticeable scars, take photos of those too.
Then submit your photos to the Ecoceans website at https://www.whaleshark.org/submit.jsp You will receive emails back about the history of the Whale shark you saw if it has already been registered or if you are the first to register it.
Happy Diving from Scuba J