The Current Situation of Whale Shark

Categories: AnimalsOceanWhale

Whale shark is a shark in family whale sharks. There is only one species. It is the largest fish in the world. The surface scattering spot and the crisscross light band. The nostrils are located on both sides of the upper lip and appear in the mouth. The teeth are many and thin, arranged in multiple rows. Whale shark belongs marine fish. Feed in plankton and small fish. It is mainly distributed in tropical and temperate waters with mild temperament. Due to mass culling, the population has decreased.

I want to figure out the characteristics of whale sharks, the reasons for the decline in population and how to reduce the population decline.

Currently, biologists still don't know how many whale sharks there are. The union for the Protection of Nature considers whale sharks to be endangered species. It is obvious that the whale shark has become extinct. In just 75 years, the number of whale sharks in the world has fallen sharply, more than 30% which is mainly due to human fishing.

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Whale sharks are usually solitary, rarely in groups unless they are foraging in areas where food is plentiful. Male have more range of activities than female because female prefer to stay in a certain place. Whale sharks swim slowly and often float on the surface of the sun. Although whale sharks are very large, they do not cause significant destruction to humans. Scientists often use whale sharks to educate society, not all sharks eat people. In fact, whale sharks are docile and play with divers.

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An unconfirmed report shows that the whale shark remained stationary, turning its body upside down and allowing the diver to remove parasites from its abdomen.

Whale sharks are filter feeders that feed on plankton, large algae, krill, and small self-propelled animals such as small catfish and vertebrates. Their teeth not for foraging, actually they are not very big. Instead, the whale shark takes a sip of water, closes its mouth and sucks it dry. Plankton are trapped in the dermis of the chin and throat, a short time between the mouth closing and the lid opening. This filter-like organ is a unique variant of cockroaches that prevents any object larger than 2 to 3 mm from passing through and the liquid is expelled. Anything blocked by a purlin filter would be swallowed by a whale shark. Whale sharks have been observed 'coughing' and speculated that this is a way of clearing food and accumulating phlegm.

Biologists still have many questions about the breeding habits of whale sharks. Until the middle of the 20th century, biologists simply stopped speculating about whether whale sharks were viviparous or egg-laying. In 1956, biologists discovered the eggshells of whale sharks off the coast of Mexico, and thought they were egg-laying.

In July 1996, Taiwanese fishermen captured a female shark and later found 300 baby sharks and egg shells inside, indicating that the whale shark is actually an egg-laying animal. Whale sharks keep their eggs in their bodies until the young sharks, which are 40 to 60 centimeters long, are released from their bodies, indicating that the sharks were not born at the same time. The females preserve their sperm and then reproduce their young steadily for a long time. Biologists believe that whale sharks reach sexual maturity around the age of 30 and live between 70 and 100 years.

There are no complete whale shark migration records, but divers can often be found in the islands of Honduras, Thailand, Red Sea, Maldives, Australia, South Africa, Taiwan, Brazil, Cologne, Mexico Women's Island, West Malaysia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Puerto Rico in these areas. The activity of the whale shark was observed. There is record showing that the whale shark called Anne, has the longest migration journey ever, spanning 1,200 miles across the Pacific.

Migration from Panama in the southeastern Pacific to hunting in the Indian Pacific near the Philippines. After 266 days of tracking, the signal about Anne disappeared into the deep sea. After 235 days, Anne reappeared in southern Hawaii. Then the whale shark swims to the Mariana Trench, the deepest underwater canyon on the ocean surface, nearly 11,000 meters above the ground. This is the first testable migration journey that records the entire trans-Pacific migration route for the largest live fish. Little is known about why whale sharks migrate. These whale sharks are looking for food or looking for breeding opportunities, or are forced to migrate by other external reasons.

So far, whale sharks have few natural predators, and human fishing is the main reason for their decline. On February 5, 2014, Alex Hofford and Paul Hilton from WildlifeRisk Hongkong, announced that from January 2010 to December 2013, WildLifeRisk surveyed a processing plant called “China Wenzhou Yueqing Marine Biological Health Products Co., Ltd.”. It was found that the factory slaughtered at least 600 whale sharks each year. The survey found that after the whale shark fins were dried in the processing plant, they were transported to Guangzhou and sold to local restaurants for decoration.

According to WildLifeRisk's secret recordings and recorded data, whale sharks that live in Australian are caught during migrations across the south China sea or the Pacific Ocean, in the Philippines, and as far away as Mexico. Every time WildLifeRisk investigators visit the Puqi processing plant, they will find a full range of whale shark products, including fins, fish skin, fish and fish oil. Shark skin can be sold to leather traders to make handbags, lips, stomachs and meat for use in restaurants.

Fish oil is extracted from skin care products and lipstick although shark liver is made into fish liver oil and sold overseas. According to statistics, China is not a major country in shark fishing, many countries catch far more fish than China. But China is the world's largest consumer and trader of shark fin. Nearly 90% of the global shark fin trade is in China, and more than half of all shark fins are imported from Hong Kong. Hong Kong has also become the world's largest hub for shark fin entrepot trade. Puqi has increased shark availability to more than 90%, making it the most efficient shark resource in the world.

There are fishermen in Oslo feeding whale sharks, which have developed into a tourist attraction. Many tourists from all over the world go to watch the whale sharks and feed them. This is undoubtedly a 'captive' for the whale shark. This is a cruel injury to the whale shark. Contact is inevitable when feeding whale sharks. The diners touch the shark's mouth or place his feet between the shark and the boat. Whale sharks already know that boats and humans mean food. Whale sharks prefer to be close to the ship and close to the boat. This change may pose an inevitable risk to the whale shark. The whale shark is a cruiser that may be accidentally approached by the fishing boat while it is cruising. Sharks are usually not exposed to bacteria that humans often carry, and excessive exposure can make them very susceptible to infection.

The whale shark is bruised by excessive friction caused by contact with the feeding utensils. The skin around the mouth is constantly destroyed and infected. Most of these wounds are white and spongy, but some look irritated and swollen. In the wild, whale sharks are usually found only 60 days in Oslo. However, as fishermen feed whale sharks from other regions, they now stay longer in Oslo instead of cruising elsewhere.

The longest stay in Oslo in 2013 was a whale shark named Mr. Bean, who stayed in Oslo for 392 days! This change in migration patterns may affect the prospects of the species. If there is no cruising, it will not be able to mate people to know little about the breeding of whale sharks. Any negative impact on the reproductive cycle may be the survival of the species. Human feed cannot meet the nutritional needs of whale sharks. Artificial feed contamination causes whale shark malnutrition.

As for the impact of increased global carbon dioxide emissions, many scientists have been linked to global warming and the resulting rise in sea levels. However, increased carbon dioxide levels can also lead to increased acidity in seawater. In addition, too much carbon dioxide is released and dissolved in seawater to form carbonate, so the water becomes acidic. In an acidic environment, organisms made of calcium carbonate in their shells are destroyed first in acidic water. This will undoubtedly affect the entire Marine ecosystem.

The biomass of the community was reduced by the absence of larger organisms. On the one hand, it may reduce the food supply of the higher organisms in the food chain, and on the other hand, it may lead to the decrease of biodiversity in the biome. In addition, Marine pollution leads to the eutrophication of seawater, which endangers the quality of seawater and leads to the reduction of oxygen content in the water. It also produces many toxic substances that kill plankton in the water and fish. Cumulative pollution through living organisms is a serious disruption of high levels of life in the food chain.

Updated: Feb 02, 2024
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The Current Situation of Whale Shark. (2024, Feb 02). Retrieved from

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