Whale shark in the Fiji
Islands (Rhincodon typus)
The whale shark inhabits all tropical and temperate oceans. It
lives pelagic in the open seas, ussually in the upper water
coloum where plancton is plenty.
It is a slow moving filter feeding shark and the largest known
fish. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 18
Whale sharks pose no significant danger to humans as they are
ussually docile slow moving fish. Younge whale sharks are known
to be courious and may be inquistive towards snorklers.
Known feeding and congregation locations include sites at
Nigaloo Reef, Maldives, Lakshadweep, Philipines, Yucatan,
Sightings in Fiji are usually
random encounters as they are not know to congregate at
sites in Fiji.
They are also difficult to spot as the ussually do
not break the watersurface.
Encounter with a Whale shark
The whale shark on these photos has been encountered on
the return dive trip Wakaya Lailai to Levuka about 4
miles off the Wakaya reef.
We went with the boat right over it bevor we even
noticed it. But boat did not touch it as we were afraid
We slowed the boat and turned the engine off.
The whale shark came swimming towards
the boat. It was a small Whale shark of only about 5 meter.
We carefully entered the water and the shark swam right towards
me, I could see markings and parasites around its mouth and had
to think about how small its eyes are compared to its size.
The shark swam right up to us, as of being curious and wanting
to check us out. It came so close I touched it on its side. Like
sandpaper just as all sharks. It was indifferent to the touch,
did not react.
The shark stayed a little, then started to descend and disappear
into the blue.