Buy A Whale Shark
If you would like to help protect the endangered whale sharks, you can symbolically adopt a shark through non-profit ocean conservation groups. Whale shark adoptions mean you are supporting an organization that cares for them.
buy a whale shark
Characteristic spots and stripes adorn the largest fish in the sea forming an intricate pattern, like a warrior painted for battle. Scientists use these distinctive markings to identify individual whale sharks. Like a fingerprint, each is as unique and special as the last.
10% of profits from the sales of this product will be donated to Marine Megafauna Foundation, a non-profit focused on the research and conservation of threatened marine megafauna, particularly sharks and rays.
Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) are fish, not whales - allowing them to hold the esteemed title of "largest fish in the sea" (since sharks are fish too!). These charismatic creatures can reach lengths of 12 meters (40 feet) or more! Despite their large size, they feed on some of the smallest organisms in the sea, plankton. Hanging vertically in the water column they're able to suction feed and filter these tiny organisms through their gill rakers much like a giant vacuum cleaner pulls dust and dirt from a kitchen floor, filtering the fragments into its chamber within.
Unfortunately, approximately 100 million sharks are killed every year by humans, through direct targeted fishing efforts as well as unintended bycatch from other fisheries. The whale shark is one species of shark that is particularly vulnerable to this commercial fishing due to their high value in international trade, in addition to their highly migratory nature and normally low abundance. Research into the lives of these gentle giants can help us to manage their populations and keep these magnificent fish in the ocean where they belong.
The Marine Megafauna Foundation is helping to shed light on the population structure, migratory patterns, and the conservation requirements of these threatened sharks. Created in 2009, they aim to research, protect and conserve the large populations of marine megafauna (large marine species) found along the Mozambican coastline. Almost all whale sharks encountered by divers are juveniles and most are males. Where the school-bus-sized mature sharks swim, what they eat, and where the females give birth has long been a mystery, however their team is now very close to making these discoveries. 10% of profits from your purchase will go to the Marine Megafauna Foundation for satellite tags that are needed to track the movements of these large female whale sharks.
I will be traveling to Oslob the day before planning to swim with the whale sharks. I'm staying at inn nearby, but want to make sure i have a 100% guaranteed ticket to experience the whale sharks. All the tours and tickets I've seen online include "day trips from other places in phillipines" and include included travel/pick-up, lunch, and other activities.
FYI, they don't accept reservations for a slot in whale shark watching. Even the resort that we stayed in last year didn't accept reservation the night before our rendezvous with the sharks. They told us that the whale shark activity center doesn't accept reservations. So they only registered us in the early morning, a few minutes before 8:00AM. Registrations are only done on the day for that day's slots.
If you have booked a room in a nearby inn, I think you don't need to worry about getting a slot. Your inn will be happy to do it for you without extra charges, I'm sure. In our case last year, the resort registered us (family of 3) and accepted payments only in the morning of the day of our rendezvous at their front desk. The fee is the same. They didn't ask for a service fee or surcharge. They assigned one person for each group as a facilitator all the way to the site. All we had to do is just sit down and listen at the briefing for do's and dont's while swimming with the sharks. After that, the facilitator handed us our gear, vest, the snorkel and GoPro camera, and led us to the boat assigned to us.
So you better inform your hotel the night before that you want to register for a slot in the whale shark encounter the next day so that they will arrange it for you. Most resorts around Oslob were built purposely for the whale shark attraction so they already know that whale shark is the main reason why their guests go there. Most resorts/hotels provide free transfer to the site.
While trade in whale shark products is prohibited under the the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), WildLifeRisk found that there is a bustling global market for the products being turned out of Pu Qi factory.
WildLifeRisk argues that there are other benefits to ending the whale shark trade, citing the value of recreational diving and tourism in areas frequented by the gentle giants. According to a report from the Pew Environment Group, whale shark tourism is worth about nearly $50 million on an annual basis globally.
The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a slow-moving, filter-feeding carpet shark and the largest known extant fish species. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 18.8 m (61.7 ft). The whale shark holds many records for size in the animal kingdom, most notably being by far the largest living nonmammalian vertebrate. It is the sole member of the genus Rhincodon and the only extant member of the family Rhincodontidae, which belongs to the subclass Elasmobranchii in the class Chondrichthyes. Before 1984 it was classified as Rhiniodon into Rhinodontidae.
The species was distinguished in April 1828 after the harpooning of a 4.6 m (15 ft) specimen in Table Bay, South Africa. Andrew Smith, a military doctor associated with British troops stationed in Cape Town, described it the following year. The name "whale shark" refers to the fish's size: it is as large as some species of whale. In addition, its filter feeding habits are not unlike those of baleen whales.
Whale sharks possess a broad, flattened head with a large mouth and two small eyes located at the front corners. Unlike many other sharks, whale shark mouths are located at the front of the head rather than on the underside of the head. A 12.1 m (39.7 ft) whale shark was reported to have a mouth 1.55 m (5.1 ft) across. Whale shark mouths can contain over 300 rows of tiny teeth and 20 filter pads which it uses to filter feed. The spiracles are located just behind the eyes. Whale sharks have five large pairs of gills. Their skin is dark grey with a white belly marked with pale grey or white spots and stripes which are unique to each individual. The skin can be up to 15 cm (5.9 in) thick and is very hard and rough to the touch. The whale shark has three prominent ridges along its sides, which start above and behind the head and end at the caudal peduncle. The shark has two dorsal fins set relatively far back on the body, a pair of pectoral fins, a pair of pelvic fins and a single medial anal fin. The caudal fin has a larger upper lobe than the lower lobe (heterocercal).
Whale sharks were found to possess dermal denticles on the surface of their eyeballs which are structured differently from their body denticles. These denticles serve to protect the eye from damage, along with the whale shark's ability to retract its eye deep into its socket.
Evidence suggests that whale sharks can recover from major injuries and may be able to regenerate small sections of their fins. Their spot markings have also been shown to reform over a previously wounded area.
Whale sharks have mutations at sites that in humans cause congenital stationary night blindness. These mutations make the whale shark's rhodopsin unstable in shallow water where the temperature is higher and the full spectrum of light is present as otherwise the pigment would hinder full color vision. The rhodopsin is stable, however, in the colder environment at 2000 meters below the surface where the shark dives and only blue light reaches. The mutations thus allow the shark to see well at both ends of its great vertical range.
The whale shark is the largest non-cetacean animal in the world. Evidence suggests that whale sharks exhibit sexual dimorphism with regards to size, with females growing larger than males. A 2020 study looked at the growth of whale shark individuals over a 10-year period. It concluded that males on average reach 8 to 9 meters (26 to 30 ft) in length. The same study predicted females reaching a length of around 14.5 m (48 ft) on average, based on more limited data. However, these are averages and do not represent the maximum possible sizes. Previous studies estimating the growth and longevity of whale sharks have produced estimates ranging from 14 to 21.9 meters (46 to 72 ft) in length. Limited evidence, mostly from males, suggests that sexual maturity occurs around 8 to 9 meters (26 to 30 ft) in length, with females possibly maturing at a similar size or larger. The maximum length of the species is uncertain due to a lack of detailed documentation of the largest reported individuals. Several whale sharks around 18 m (59 ft) in length have been reported.
Large whale sharks are difficult to measure accurately, both on the land and in the water. When measured on land, the total length can be affected by how the tail is positioned, either angled as it would be in life or stretched to the maximum possible. Historically, techniques such as comparisons to objects of known size and knotted ropes have been used for in-water measurements and these techniques may suffer from inaccuracy. In 2011, laser photogrammetry was proposed to improve in-water measurement accuracy.
In 1868, the Irish natural scientist Edward Perceval Wright obtained several small whale shark specimens in the Seychelles. Wright was informed of one whale shark that was measured as exceeding 45 ft (14 m). Wright claimed to have observed specimens over 50 ft (15 m) and was told of specimens upwards of 70 ft (21 m). 041b061a72