Photograph a whale shark and help researchers understand and protect these mighty fish

Read the recent Wildlife Extra article about an award-winning project to photograph and log the movements of the world’s largest fish. Visit the Ecocean whale shark site for more details of how you can be involved.

I’m told by those who have been diving with whale sharks that it really is awe-inspiring. They resemble whales not only in being so big but in eating krill, so they are both harmless and enormous. Dive operators advise the angle and distance of approach so as not to disturb the shark or put yourself in accidental slapping range of the massive tail.

In parts of  Asia they are still hunted for their huge fins and their flesh, which is reportedly not very good quality compared to other fish. The Wildlife Extra article suggests some localities could consider diving ecotours rather than fishing as an income source.

There is still a lot we don;t know about their ecology and behaviour, so if you do find yourself  diving with these spectacular fish, learn how your photos could be valuable for the database.

And while you’re at it, if you happen to be diving at Ningaloo, Western Australia (one of the best places for diving with whale sharks), especially if doing so regularly, you may be able to add to important monitoring of coral bleaching.