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 Underwater photography of Whale Sharks

The mighty whaleshark is the biggest fish in the sea and due to its whale like proportions and distinctive shark shape often epitomizes peoples fear of sharks. Fortunately though this isn't the case as this shark wanders the oceans in search of plankton and small fish as its staple diet and displays mild curiosity at people who happen to be in its environment. Being able to swim with these gentle giants, the whale shark, is surely one of lifes' rare experiences. In fact its this friendly and slow moving demeanor that is getting the whale shark onto endangered lists around the world. Humans in their normal style after having depleted other forms of protein are turning to catching these creatures for their commercial value which in actual fact is close to the lowest levels of value on the seafood list. Scientists have seen the average size of these creatures decline over the last few years and studies on whale shark fisheries have shown a established capture area to deplete the sharks numbers so dramatically that the fishery shut down after only 3 years.

Georgia aqaurium whales sharks copyright Andrew Woodburn

The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta in the USA,  has two whale sharks in their open ocean tank both of whom are not yet fully grown. These two giant fish are leaders in promoting whale shark conservation and knowledge by allowing normal families and children to marvel at their size and grace in a controlled environment. In order to feed each whale shark they were trained to each respond to a different color bucket which would contain plankton and krill according to the individuals diet needs, "who says fish cant learn".

 
copyright Andrew Woodburn www.woodburnphoto.co.za, swimming with whale shark
Swim with whale sharks off South Africas and Mozambiques coast in the summer months when they tend to congregate on rocky points or swim along the back line behind the waves.
copyright Andrew Woodburn, swimming with a whale shark in green water

  

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