With their distinctive stripe and dot markings, whale sharks are undeniably magnificent. Here are some things you might not know about these mysterious marine creatures…
Mafia Island, Tanzania
Whale shark tourism is one of the key sources of income to the community around Mafia Island, Tanzania, with peak whale shark sighting season running from October-March. Thanks to the rich feeding grounds here, these whale sharks are permanent residents, rather than migratory like most other whale sharks. We’re working to educate communities, local fisherfolk and those involved with tourism about the conservation of whale sharks.
We’re also monitoring these sharks and conduct surveys every couple of years to check their population is thriving. In 2012 there were 100 individuals. Now there are around 180 – this is a great achievement considering sharks are slow to grow and reproduce.
What we're doing
Around the world, WWF is working to better protect and manage our oceans – including vital shark habitats. We’re also working to reduce bycatch and stop the illegal trade in shark products.
We can all play our part to reduce our plastic use, increase recycling and clean up our plastic pollution. And we can all work together to fight devastating climate change, which is affecting both people and wildlife.