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Whale Shark
Field Guide

The oceans are home to many remarkable creatures, but few match the mysterious and majestic whale shark. This gentle giant is not only the largest fish in the world, it is the largest known fish to have ever lived. Although these magnificent creatures have swum through the world's oceans for over 60 million years, today they are endangered. Over fishing, shark finning, and climate change are putting immense pressure on whale shark populations.

But there is some good news. Recent endeavors to reduce whale shark hunting through responsible tourism initiatives seem to be working. Responsible operators can put you in position to see and swim with whale sharks in many places around the world, and your support of local economies that preserve rather than hunt whale sharks could prove vital in their long term survival. How else can you can contribute to whale shark conservation, take part in Citizen Science efforts to expand our knowledge of these giant fish, and have a great time all at once?


What is a Whale Shark?

Whale Shark Field Guide - Chapter 1

What is a Whale Shark? Just the biggest fish in the ocean! It is a shark whose size gave it its name. How to identify a whale shark, where they live, what they eat (you will be surprised!), how they communicate, who are they related to, and more. 


Whale Shark Conservation: Everything You Need to Know

Whale Shark Field Guide - Chapter 2

The planet's biggest fish is in trouble. Just as we are beginning to understand this gentle giant, whale sharks are disappearing. Marine scientists are rushing to discover what is causing the whale sharks numbers to fall and what conservation efforts will help them. The good news is that thousands of Citizen Scientists (you!) are contributing vital data that is helping whale researchers in their quests to ensure that their are live wild whale sharks for our kids to enjoy, too.  


How To Swim with Whale Sharks - Responsibly 

Whale Shark Field Guide - Chapter 3

Whale shark tourism has helped to turn many hunting and fishing communities into whale shark conservation advocates, and the information gathered by people like you and me while on our whale shark holidays has become invaluable to scientists in their quest to understand and save this magnificent creature. On the other hand, unintentional harassment by well-meaning eco-tourists (you and me) can cause irreparable harm to whale sharks. Learn how to minimize our impact on the whale sharks while maximizing our enjoyment of these wonderful creatures.


The Best Places to See & Swim with Whale Sharks

Whale Shark Field Guide - Chapter 4

Where are the most beautiful places in the world for an entire year of swimming with whale sharks? What are the best places to take your family, including the kids, for whale shark swimming? What about whale shark Festivals or citizen science opportunities?  Its all here! 


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