Where to Find Whale Sharks

Whale sharks are found around the world in tropical and temperate waters.  They have been sighted as far North as New York, and as far South as Tasmania.  The only body of water that seems to be void is the Mediterannean Sea.

Where to Find Whale SharksWhere to find whale sharks

Although little is known of these gentle giants, what researchers do know about where to find whale sharks is based upon sightings of them feeding at the surface.  Whale sharks are solitary animals most of the time.  In many locales, including Honduras, they are spotted anytime of the year, with little prediction other than good weather and timing.

In other areas of the world, they are known to come together in large aggregations for a particular spawning event, such as a coral or fish spawn.   For example the mutton snapper spawn off of Belize from April to May, coral spawn in the Ningaloo Reef of Australia from March to April, and bonito (tuna) spawn off the Yucatan peninsula in June, July, and August all consistently and predictabley bringing whale sharks to these areas.

The largest congregation known to researchers is located off the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.  It is hypothesized that some of these locations are breeding grounds, but little is known about the mating rituals of whale sharks.  A record number of 420 whale sharks were reported in one day by the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in May of 2011.



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