Whale Sharks in Thailand | Rhincodon typus | SeaPics.com

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Whale Sharks in Thailand

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In Thailand, there are several diving locations where the whale shark, Rhincodon Typus, can be seen, however, they are not common. The most famous is Richelieu Rock close to the Surin Islands. Hin Daeng is another good area for large pelagics. There is also a huge variety of marine life and underwater scenery. The reefs of the Similan Islands are well known worldwide, while the islands of Phuket, Phi Phi and Koh Tao attract divers and sun seekers alike.

The whale sharks despite their size, are harmless, feeding on plankton and small fish which are filtered from the water as they cruise the world's oceans. Whale sharks are found in warm waters worldwide including Australia, Mexico, Honduras, Hawaii and Thailand. In these countries, these giant sharks are regarded with respect.
           
However, the planet's largest fish is on the verge of extinction. The World Conservation Union lists them as 'Vulnerable'. In Taiwan, documented catches have declined by 50 to 80% from the mid-1980's to 1990's. In Gujarat, India, 160 whale sharks were landed between January and May 2000 compared to 279 the previous year.

In Thailand, sightings of whale sharks have also declined significantly as they are extremely vulnerable to over exploitation by man. They have a slow growth rate, only reaching maturity at around 30 years old and living as long as 60 - 100 years. Their reproduction rate is also very slow with long intervals between births. The whale shark cannot populate fast enough to keep up with man's consumption.

Whale shark meat and fins are considered gourmet cuisine in some Asian markets where a single fin can fetch up to $10,000.

 

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Picture of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, with sharksuckers, remoras, Echeneis naucrates, Surin Islands, Thailand, Andaman Sea

Picture #: 009874

Image - diver experiences the thrill of a lifetime, swimming next to a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, Richelieu Rock, Thailand, Andaman Sea

Picture #: 019673

Stock photo of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, with sharksuckers and golden pilot jacks, Thailand, Andaman Sea, Indian Ocean

Picture #: 005396

Photo of whale shark silhouette, Rhincodon typus, Richelieu Rock, Similan Island, Thailand

Picture #: 005383

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Picture of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, surrounded by cobias or kingfish swim majestically over the sandy bottom, Koh Ha 1, Andaman Sea, Indian Ocean, Thailand, Asia

Picture #: 066316

Image of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, with sharksuckers, Thailand, Andaman Sea, Indian Ocean

Picture #: 078474

Stock photo of a snorkeler a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, with sharksuckers, Thailand, Andaman Sea, Indian Ocean

Picture #: 001439

Photo of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, surrounded by cobias or kingfish swim majestically over the sandy bottom, Koh Ha 1, Andaman Sea, Indian Ocean, Thailand, Asia

Picture #: 066313

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Picture of scuba divers and whale shark, Rhincodon typus, Thailand, Andaman Sea, Indian Ocean

Picture #: 078505

Image of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, silhouette, Bida islands, Koh Phi Phi, Andaman sea, Indian Ocean, Thailand, Asia

Picture #: 094789

Stock photo of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, with remoras, Bida islands, Koh Phi Phi, Andaman sea, Indian Ocean, Thailand, Asia

Picture #: 094787

Photo of a silhouette of whale shark, Rhincodon typus, and snorkeler, Thailand, Andaman Sea, Indian Ocean

Picture #: 078504

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Picture of whale shark, Rhincodon typus, with sharksuckers, Thailand, Andaman Sea, Indian Ocean

Picture #: 078507

Image of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, accompanied by cobia, Rachycentron canadum, Thailand, Pacific Ocean

Picture #: 001436

Stock photo of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, with scuba diver, Richelieu Rock, Thailand, Pacific Ocean

Picture #: 001437

Photo of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, with scuba diver, Thailand, Andaman Sea, Indian Ocean

Picture #: 078506

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Picture of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, with remoras, Thailand, Pacific Ocean

Picture #: 009964

Image of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, silhouette, Bida islands, Koh Phi Phi, Andaman sea, Indian Ocean, Thailand, Asia

Picture #: 094791

Stock photo of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, accompanied by remoras and scuba diver, Thailand, Andaman Sea, Indian Ocean

Picture #: 005397

Photo of a whaleshark, Rhincodon typus, surrounded by cobias or kingfish swim majestically over the sandy bottom, Koh Ha 1, Andaman Sea, Indian Ocean, Thailand, Asia

Picture #: 066312

 

>>> Click Here for Information and Photos of Whale Sharks in Hawaii