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Silversonic passengers and crew returning to Port Douglas from the Great Barrier Reef encountered the wonders of a rare sighting of a Whale Shark. The Whale Shark was spotted approx. 400 metres from Agincourt Reef on Tue 16 September. It is amongst one of the rarest marine encounters that you can experience on the Great Barrier Reef. Silversonic Skipper, Shane ‘Sharky’ Down said “These are the gentle giants of the Ocean and was filter-feeding on plankton. A truly magical encounter for everyone.”
Some quick facts on the Whale Shark:
1. The biggest fish in the sea is a slow-moving, filter-feeding docile giant. The largest confirmed whale shark (Rhincodon typus) was 41.5 feet long and weighed about 21.5 tons.
2. Whale sharks are filter feeders and sieve plankton through their gills for much of their nourishment. They also sieve squid, krill, and small fish. Whale sharks have about 3,000 tiny teeth (less than 1-inch long), but they don't use their teeth to eat.
3. Whale sharks have a lifespan that’s estimated to be 70 to 100 years.
4. They reach sexual maturity at around 30 years. The eggs of the whale shark remain in the body and the females give birth to live young, which are 16 to 24 inches long. There is some evidence that suggests the pups are not all born at once, but rather over a prolonged period.