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The Biggest Fish in the Sea
Snorkelling out in the open ocean alongside a whale shark is an unforgettable experience.
These gentle and mysterious creatures are the largest of all the fish in the sea. They are most commonly 4-12m long, but have been known to reach lengths of 18m (~60') or more.
There are very few places in the world where swimming with whale sharks is possible, so those of us from Western Australia should count ourselves lucky that Ningaloo Reef is one of them!
Jump Down to share your experiences of whale shark swimming and watching, and to read the comments and stories of other visitors to this site.
A whale shark surfaces:
They migrate in large numbers to the waters off Ningaloo from March/April to July every year, following the mass coral spawning that occurs on the March full moon.
Although they are usually pelagic, inhabiting the middle-depths of the open oceans, when they visit Ningaloo they're frequently seen at the surface. This generally happens where two currents converge, causing an upwelling of water that brings plankton to the surface (where we can see them and swim with them!) for them to feed on.
A convergence of two currents at Ningaloo occurs in roughly the same spot from day to day, so the whale shark tour boats seldom have difficulty finding the general area where the whale sharks will be feeding at the surface. In addition to this, spotter planes fly above and alert the tour boats when they see a whale shark.
I would encourage all visitors to Western Australia to swim with the whale sharks. It's one of those once-in-a-lifetime things to do. Whale shark watching and swimming tours depart from Coral Bay and Exmouth every day during the April - July season.
Readers' Whale Shark Stories - Click Here to Submit Your Own
- Swimming With Sharks - by Lewis from Sydney
More Whale Shark Info:
Have you ever encountered a whale shark? Tell us all about it!
Share your whale shark true tales and memories here!