All scuba divers have the dream to dive with Whale sharks, and Asia has plenty of dive destinations where you get the chance to witness these magnificent animals.
Some people have the luck to see one at the first dive ever; this is not the case for most scuba divers. To make your change of diving with a whale shark a bit better, here are some facts and top dive destinations in Asia to refill your dream.
The tropical sea waters in Asia are a great place to scuba dive with whale sharks. Here are our favorites.
Cenderawasih Bay is known as the whale shark capital of the world. In these crystal clear waters,
the Whale sharks love to come over to the fisherman and clean their nets from small fishes.
It is not a question if you will see one but how many there will be at your dive.
These plankton-rich waters of the Indian Ocean almost guarantee whale shark encounters year-round.
Here snorkelers and scuba divers alike have spectacular encounters with these beautiful fish.
Hanifaru Bay is more known for the manta feeding manifest, but sometimes whale sharks can appear here. It is not allowed to dive on the UNESCO world heritage site but to swim with whale sharks can be a fantastic experience together with dozens of manta rays.
Located at the Surin islands in Thailand, Tachai pinnacle is an excellent place to watch for whale sharks among mantas and other big marine life. This pinnacle is known for strong currents and is a hot spot for manta rays and whale sharks to get cleaned.
Scuba diving on this beautiful dive site covered with purple soft corals and an abundance of marine life becomes even better when you see a whale shark emerge from the blue coming towards you. This cleaning station gets frequent visits by manta rays and whale sharks.
When going on a dive safari to the Southern atolls of the Maldives, you go for anchor at the Huvadho atoll, where big lights are put on the stern of the liveaboard. These lights attract clouds of plankton and krill, where whale sharks enjoy feeding on. A magnificent way to experience a whale shark when on a night dive.
Unlike manta rays that have two different varieties, the Whale shark is one of a kind.
Whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea that filter feed by their 300 rows of teeth and 20 filter pads. When it opens its mouth, it is reported to be up to 1,55 meters/5,1 feet across.
Their diet is a mix of plankton, krill, fish eggs, small squid, or little fish that will be getting in by ram filtration or by active suction feeding. A juvenile whale shark can eat 26 kg of plankton a day.
Whale sharks are known to stay in warmer tropical waters that are filled with plankton. They are open water swimmers that prefer the shallower areas, although there are known to dive to a depth of 1800 meters occasionally.
The reproduction, growth, and longevity of these gentle giants are still poorly understood. But research is gradually seeing some results.
Sexual maturity will be around the age of 25 when the female can get pregnant with about 300 pups that are not born at once but over a prolonged period. The live young will be born at a size between 40 cm/16in – 60 cm/24 in.
The whale shark’s lifespan is estimated to be approximately 80 – 130 years of age when counting the vertebrae growth. The growth of a male is faster than the female. The maximum length of the largest fish in the world 18 meters/50 feet.
For the identification of Whale sharks, you have to look at the skin patterns behind the gills. These patterns are different for each individual, the same as a fingerprint is for us, humans.
If you would like to know which whale shark you have seen during your dive or found a new one, you can submit your photo wild book for whale sharks.