The whale shark is the largest living non-mammalian vertebrate. It is a slow-moving fliter-feeding shark that feeds primarily on plankton. It inhabits tropical and subtropical oceans. Whale sharks have a lifespan of about 70 years and depend on healthy oceans for their well-being.
Whale sharks are a highly migratory species and regularly visit Sri Lankan waters round the island. This year whale sharks sightings have been reported from Kalpitiya, Galle and Trincomalee. Juvenile whale sharks tend to be found in nutrient rich neritic waters (green waters) close to shore (up to 50m depths) and unlikely to migrate till maturity.
Hopefully the whale shark will become a protected species in Sri Lanka's waters and its population recovers sufficiently for whale shark watching to become a tourist attraction.
March 2014: Negombo, live sighting.
March 2014: Kalpitiya peninsular, live sighting.
April 2014: Galle harbour, live sighting.
May 2014: Kalpitiya peninsular, live stranding, juvenile.
June to August: Trincomalee, multiple sightings, adult & juvenile
September: Trincomalee, live sighting
You may watch a video of the whale shark sighting in Galle harbour.
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