Meet the world’s biggest fish – the whale shark.
Despite its massive size, it feeds mostly on plankton. The distribution of whale sharks indicates the presence of plankton and the overall health of our oceans, which we heavily depend on. Read on to discover more.
The whale shark is the largest shark and indeed the largest of any fish alive today. While the maximum size of this species is not known, they can reach the length of a school bus!
These gentle marine giants roam across the tropical oceans of the world, generally alone. However, large numbers of whale sharks often gather in areas with abundant plankton food—making them prime tourist attractions. Because whale sharks feed on plankton, they will travel large distances to find enough food to sustain their huge size, and to reproduce.
Their white spotted colouration makes these gentle giants easy to distinguish, and are popular with snorkelers and divers at sites where they gather off the coast.
However, the whale shark is facing big challenges today.
These majestic creatures, which are an IUCN endangered species, are at risk from being caught as bycatch and struck by ships, and are still hunted in some parts of the world for their fins and meat.
Poorly managed whale shark tourism also presents a threat to the species as it may interrupt their feeding and sharks can be injured by boat propellers, highlighting the importance of responsible tourism practices.
To secure the future of this species and safeguard the health of our oceans, WWF is working to protect whale sharks.
WWF experts continue to study shark habits and gather information in the Coral Triangle on individual sharks by using satellite tags, sonar devices, and digital cameras to create further protection for whale sharks. In addition, we support whale shark studies to learn more about the population, their habitat use and migratory pathways in the waters surrounding Mafia Island, Coastal East Africa.
As the world celebrates Whale Shark Day on 30th August, discover how you too can play a part for nature and whale sharks.
How you can help
Whale Shark video
The whale shark is the biggest fish and shark in the world. These gentle marine giants roam the oceans around the globe, generally alone. However, large numbers of whale sharks often gather in areas with abundant plankton food.
Discover more about WWF’s work
Our mission is to stop the degradation of our planet’s natural environment, and build a future in which people live in harmony with nature. Find out how we aim to achieve this through our nine global goals.
To Friends of Protected Areas
NPAQ along with WWF and TWS and many conservation groups, including QCC, thank you in advance for participating in the Protecting Queensland Campaign – to build a world-leading protected area system for Queensland!
Most wildlife-rich state in Australia is now seriously at risk, and immediate action is needed to grow and better manage protected areas.
The associated environmental groups have today released a new six-point plan calling on the Palaszczuk Government to act urgently on protected areas, as Queensland increasingly lags behind other states.
|Respect Ramsar – Birdlife Australia|
The message is simple: Koala habitat must be legally protected.
|The list will be made available to any group who can use it! Anyone can sign on. But we’re not yet at 1000 and the list won’t go out until we hit that number.|
It is definitely not a petition it’s a lobbying tool. So for example Steve Cubio is Tourism Minister and member for Moncrieff.
So 1000 friends of koalas can send him emails which demand he supports immediate habitat legal protection in south east Queensland or 1000 Friends can send out press releases.
The list doesn’t have to be sent to politicians but we need to know there are 1000 Friends to ensure it’s legitimate. The list can grow and become 2000 etc
This is Sue Arnold’s message -1000 Koala Friends is going to be used for Federal Elections and is going to be made available to any groups who also want to use it to support their own issues.
By the same token it is also going to be useful for QLD and NSW elections because there’s no way of differentiating the emails to know whether they have come from NSW and QLD.
The primary focus is the federals but we encourage people to use them at state levels.
We’ve told all groups if they want to use the list, they are more than welcome to.
See BIEPA News November 2014 attached for your information.