TAKE A LOOK FIRST

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

whale sharks- mafia Island- please book with us usd 100 per person

About the whale sharks

The whale shark , Rhincodon typus,  is the world’s largest fish  reaching  more than 13 meters (40 ft.) in length. They are cartilaginous fish, not mammals, and their name refers to their size and diet of plankton.  Despite their spectacular size they are very docile and do not harm humans. The only predators of whale sharks are orcas, white sharks and humans. They are actively fished to be sold in Asia.

Whale sharks reach sexual maturity at about 7 to 8m in length (after 20 to 30 years) and are ovoviviparous, which means that they lay eggs but retain these in the uterus until they hatch and live pups are “born”.  A mature female may have up to 300 eggs at various stages of development in her two uteri at any one time. It is believed that the females may mate very few times and may be able to store sperm.

Whale sharks are most often seen in tropical/sub tropical regions. They are solitary and travel alone but aggregate in a few locations around the world, where they can be seen in larger numbers, such as in the waters of Galapagos, the Yucatan, Ningaloo, Bahrain and a few other sites. Mafia Island is one of these special locations with one of the longest lasting aggregations and thus one of the best places to study these animals.

Ongoing research and indigenous knowledge suggest that the sharks are in the Mafia channel all year round. However, more than fifty animals have been identified that feed here on surface plankton from September to March, when they are easily seen. The whale sharks aggregating in Mafia are most commonly not yet sexually mature, being typically less than about 8 meters in length and 80% of these are male.  The reason for this gender imbalance and size prevalence is still unknown.

Kitu Kiblu and the founders of Kitu Kiblu have been associated with WWF Tanzania-funded research since 2007 and continue to support whale shark research and conservation.
Whale Shark