These benevolent behemoths have long occupied a proportional space in the human imagination.
Species — typus Common names Whale shark, basking shark, and whaleshark are common names in the English language used to refer to this fish. Importance to Humans A diver swims along with a juvenile whale shark. At present, commercial fisheries for whale sharks are limited, but may expand from an increased demand for food products.
In Taiwan approximately whale sharks are taken annually. The whale shark meat fetches a high price in this country, and this fact has stimulated larger harvests over the last years.
Fishing for this shark also occurs in the Philippines, particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao areas, providing food for the local fishing communities. Whale shark fins are sold in Asia, especially in the Hong Kong. Occasionally whale sharks are captured accidentally along the coast of India.
Sometimes the flesh is eaten and the liver oil is utilized for waterproofing wooden fishing boats and other appliances, for the manufacture of shoe polish and as a treatment for some skin diseases. The processing of whale shark fins has also been reported in India.
Often the whale shark is used as an indicator of waters rich in plankton-feeding fish that will, in turn, attract more valuable species such as tuna. Whale sharks have been kept in aquaria in Japan, but their large size and specialized diet precludes this species from being mainstream aquarium species.
In a few locations where the presence of whale sharks appears to be predictable, they are increasingly targeted by commercial tourist operations. Danger to Humans Generally considered harmless. However, there have been a few cases of whale sharks butting sportfishing boats, possibly after being provoked.
Usually the sharks are more at risk from being struck accidentally by vessels whilst basking or feeding on the surface. National Museum Some biological characteristics, such as large size, slow growth, late maturation and extended longevity, probably limit recruitment and make whale sharks susceptible to over-exploitation.
These characteristics also suggest that populations are slow to recover from any over-fishing.
The whale shark is listed by the AFS American Fisheries Society as conservation dependent reduced but stabilized or recovering under a continuing conservation plan in both the U. Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. However, it is considered not at risk in the Gulf of California.
In the Maldives and Philippines there is legislation banning all fishing for whale sharks.
This protection was introduced because of the possible serious impact that the fishery may be making on whale shark stocks.
The predictable occurrence of whale sharks in a few localities, such as in Western Australia, has led to the development of an expanding tourism industry.The only defense a whale shark has is its size, so small juvenile whale sharks can be very susceptible to predation.
The lack of whale shark specimens less than three meters in length has prompted some researchers to speculate that small whale sharks have a rapid growth rate (Chang et. al., ).
Dr Eugene Gudger, Curator of Fishes at the American Museum of Natural History, collected reports of whale sharks from all over the world from to the s. He published 47 papers on these sharks in 40 years, many of them reviews and re-workings of his own work. Oct 07, · Sharks Essay.
A Case Study on the Whale Sharks of Donsol, Sorsogon, Philippines. Words | 11 Pages. (Natural History Museum, N.D.)?
Since we know that sharks have existed for million years we know that they have had to survive many mass extinctions. In these mass extinctions many of the predators that preyed on sharks were killed off. The Natural History of Whale Sharks Essays - What is the largest fish in the world.
The answer would be the Rhincodon typus, or commonly known as, the whale shark. Feb 06, · They are noticed in the tropical areas frequently, but many motion and behavior system of the whale shark are still unfamiliar. Physical description: The morphology of whale sharks is mostly similar to aquatic fish species, but many specific traits help differentiate them from the rest.
Whale sharks are the largest seafood in the globe and can reach a size of around 20 metres (Martins, C., and C. 5/5(55). Meg, a larger than life, metre, toothsome monster, is only the latest in a long history of human representations of sharks.
Our fascination with these imagined monsters is apparently insatiable.