Whale Shark Spotted in Shallow Water North of Broome
Campers at Barred Creek on the Dampier Peninsula 30km north of Broome have reported sighting a 7-10 metre whaleshark feeding in shallow water, as reported by the ABC today.
Camper Kelsey Rowse posted on social media:
“It swam up and down in the shallows for about an hour so we could walk alongside it and watch it sweep the water with that mouth!”
A few other onlookers told the ABC that the whaleshark came as close as two metres from the water’s edge, in depths so shallow it was unable to cover the whale shark’s dorsal fin and tail.
The waters of the Kimberley coastline are not known for whale shark sightings, though this is the second in six months after a fisherman reported seeing one back in December 2019.
The best spot to see (and swim with) whale sharks is on Ningaloo Reef. Each year, typically between March and August, whale sharks migrate down Western Australia’s coastline. This is during the coral spawning time at Ningaloo Reef. Ningaloo is one of the only places in the world where whale sharks naturally aggregate in large numbers.
Research fellow at the Harry Butler Institute at Murdoch University, Brad Norman has encouraged anyone that spots a whale shark to take photos and report it to Wildbook for Whale Sharks website. This website is maintained and used by marine biologists to collect and analyse whale shark sighting data to learn more about these amazing creatures. The Wildbook uses photographs of the skin patterning behind the gills of each shark, and any scars, to distinguish between individual animals. The information you submit will be used in mark-recapture studies to help with the global conservation of this threatened species.
Read the full article on the ABC by clicking here.