Whale sharks are the tallest fish and are both mysterious and majestic creatures. They are harmless and elegant as they swim in our planet's warm waters in search of tiny food. Whale sharks have existed for millions of years and are classified as elasmobranchs. Their size inspired the name. In fact, they were previously misidentified as whales.
Whale sharks are the world's biggest fish, with a maximum length of nearly 65 feet or 20 metres. The biggest whale was evaluated at 41 feet or 12.5 metres, but such sharks are extremely rare. They range in length from 13 to 26 feet or 4 to 8 metres on average. They are carnivorous and feed on small fish, zooplankton, and fish eggs, which they filter by widening their mouth.
Things To Keep In Mind During Whale Shark Diving Ningaloo
Whale shark tours are an excellent way to get up close and personal with the ocean's biggest fish in their natural habitat. It's certainly a bucket list item that you should try at least once in your life. However, keep in mind that they are wild animals and must be handled as such. Respect these amazing creatures, and you'll have an unforgettable whale shark swim during your Exmouth tours WA.
Your guide will go over this with you during your whale shark encounter, but these are the things you must be aware of before jumping into the crystal clear waters of the Ningaloo Reef!
Slowly And Calmly Move
Many animals, including our whale shark friends, react negatively to sudden movements. Keep your cool and move slowly to keep them calm and undisturbed.
Do Not Touch But Observe
Touching whale sharks can produce unnecessary stress, which is something we don't want. Maintain a 3-4 metre distance between you and them, and if one of them gets curious and swims towards the group, split down the middle and let it pass through.
Avoid Getting In Their Way
We're merely observers here. We don't want to follow them or interfere with their plans. Place yourself at its side, behind the pectoral fin, for the best view during your whale shark dive and swim. If the whale shark wraps over, move back and give it some space.
Pay Attention To The Crew
We've been involved in whale shark tourism for quite some time, so keep an eye out during your whale shark interactions. The crew will keep you safe and advise you on what to do in any situation.
Don’t Use Flash
If you're taking photos, avoid using flash. Every whale shark tour includes a photographer, so you don't have to worry about getting the perfect shot.
Keep An Eye On Your Diving
As with any normal dive, regularly check in with your friend to ensure you know where they are. Signal to them as well. The only thing better than seeing a whale shark is sharing that encounter with a friend, so take a minute, even if it's just to wave at them. Keep checking your depth, deco restrictions, and air supply on a regular basis.
Be Aware Of How Whale Shark Discomfort Appears
Experienced teams, spotter planes, and safety tenders are constantly monitoring the situation on the water. However, being aware of whale shark behaviour and knowing when to back off is always useful.
When a whale shark starts to the bank, it is warning you to back off. It can also express its displeasure by rolling its eyes back. Increase the distance between you and the whale shark to make it more comfortable.
Is Whale Shark Diving Ningaloo Really Safe?
Ningaloo Reef tour providers are all doing their part to safeguard this mighty fish. The majority have a no-touch policy, with the goal of minimising wildlife disturbance through safe anchoring. They place a strong emphasis on travelling education and whale shark engagement training.
Do your homework before booking Exmouth Tours WA, but they all have highly skilled employees who will give you the rundown before allowing you to swim with a whale shark. Some businesses have been doing this for years and know what to expect. Many will have snorkels, wetsuits, fins, and flotation devices you can take, and they will be willing to help you feel secure in the water regardless of your swimming skills and age.
You should visit Ningaloo Marine Park in Exmouth, Western Australia. It's the whale shark period on the Ningaloo Reef from March to early August, and it's one of the few areas in the world where you can see them in larger groups.
You may also appreciate the Ningaloo Marine Park's massive reef habitat, which is teeming with marine life. Witness manta rays gliding through the turquoise waters, humpback whales migrating, and turtles hatching.