OK, this is amazing!

I was astonished to find this photograph on the Web site of the Telegraph in London, part of their ‘Pictures Of The Day’ series for this date.

The caption reads:

British photographer Steve Jones submerged himself in the water to capture the relationship that has developed between man and whale sharks. Locals [on the] Indonesian peninsula of West Papua have struck up a bond with the monster fish, which can measure up to 12m [about 40 feet] in length. Fishermen hand feed them and even leap into the water to cut them free should they get caught in fishing nets.

Whale sharks are the largest fish in the world, but aren’t carnivorous, like so many of their shark relatives (their diet consists mainly of plankton and small marine creatures). They’re enormous, yet peaceful creatures. I’ve seen them several times in the waters off South Africa. Here’s a video clip of a female whale shark off Thailand, in the company of divers, which gives a good perspective on just how big she is.

It’s amazing to think of fish that large becoming so accustomed to fishermen and their boats that they’ll line up waiting for handouts!


1 comment

  1. Thank for sharing Peter. They are indeed gentle giants, but alas so vulnerable to mankinds insane demand for their fins for the shark fin soup trade. For anyone not aware – that trade is currently responsible for the deaths of over 70 million sharks a year – a rate that will wipe them out in our lifetime unless it is stopped. Disastrous for sharks, disastrous for mankind…..

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