Whale sharks are back in town! The whale shark season has officially started and the biggest fish in the sea have already been spotted off the coast of Western Australia. The three-metre-long juvenile was spotted by a couple of fisherman near Jurien Bay on Sunday morning. It’s just one of many baby whale sharks that are soon to hatch along our coast, according to Department of Fisheries scientist Mark Meekan. He said this year would be an awesome season for spotting these gentle giants as he believes there would be about 100 new baby whale sharks born in local waters, reported Perth Now.
“They migrate up here every year; they’ve only recently started arriving now,” he said.
“This is probably one of, if not the biggest year we’re going to see for whale sharks because there are such large numbers of them around the world.”
Mr Meekan said it was a fantastic time to spot these creatures as they went about their daily business.
“They tend to feed more during early mornings and at night,” he said. “They don’t do much during the day, they kind of laze about on the top of the water.”
The Department of Fisheries has recorded a total 832 sightings since September 2015. The whale sharks migrate all the way from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, spreading out to different regions around Australia. The new baby whale sharks were born in Indonesian waters and travel down as part of a large population. It’s believed the new additions to our waters will stick around until about March 2017. Whale sharks can grow up to 18 metres long and weigh more than 20 tonnes. They are completely harmless and eat very small marine animals such as plankton, krill and jellyfish.