Quicksilver Group NewsApril 24th, 2013
Whale Shark delights Silverswift passengers
Silverswift passengers were given a rare glimpse of a Whale Shark at our Coral Gardens reef site on Flynn Reef. Measuring 8-10 metres length, it swam past the certified divers at a depth of 8 metres.
Silverswift’s Dive Instructor Sam Killian said “It was amazing. The whale shark was swimming along the wall at Flynn Reef in about 8 metres and was travelling in a SW direction. This was a special day for the certified divers and myself and is a very rare sight. Our guests were delighted to witness this spectacular sighting from “it was amazing- so huge to mind blowing on surfacing from their dive. Not being able to talk underwater and to see this majestic animal swim past – it left everyone speechless literally.”
This species is rare and prior to the mid 1980’s there had been less than 350 confirmed reports of Whale Sharks world wide. As the largest fish in the sea, reaching lengths of 40 feet (12 meters) or more, whale sharks have an enormous menu from which to choose. Fortunately for most sea-dwellers—and us!—their favorite meal is plankton such as krill, crab larvae and jelly fish, which they scoop up with their colossal gaping mouths while swimming close to the water’s surface.
The whale shark’s flattened head sports a blunt snout above its mouth with short barbels protruding from its nostrils. Its back and sides are gray to brown with white spots among pale vertical and horizontal stripes, and its belly is white. Its two dorsal fins are set rearward on its body, which ends in a large dual-lobbed caudal fin (or tail). Preferring warm waters, whale sharks populate all tropical seas. Although massive, whale sharks are docile fish. They are currently listed as a vulnerable species.