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Whale Shark Day: History and Significance

Whale sharks were recently spotted near the sea off Panaiyur fishing village along the Chennai coast. The whale shark is the largest.

Whale sharks were recently spotted near the sea off Panaiyur fishing village along the Chennai coast.


  • The whale shark is the largest fish in the world and the largest fish known to have lived on this planet.
  • Scientific Name: Rhincodon typus
  • They feed on plankton and travel large distances to find enough food to sustain their huge size, and to reproduce.
  • They are one of only three species of filter feeding sharks.
  • Distribution: They can be found in all temperate and tropical oceans around the world, except the Mediterranean Sea.


  • It is a large fish that can grow up to 60 feet long, though most specimens reach about 40 feet in length and weigh about 15 tons. 
  • They are dark gray on top and light underneath, with a series of light spots or stripes covering the dark parts of their bodies. This helps to camouflage them as they swim.
  • Unlike most shark speciesits mouth is located at the front of the head (terminal) instead of the underside of the rostrum (subterminal).
  • Filter Feeders:
    • They are filter feeders and can neither bite nor chew. They can process more than 6,000 litres of water an hour through their gills. 
    • Inside the mouth are specialized flaps called velums. These stop the backflow of water as the whale shark closes its mouth, preventing the loss of food.


  • Fishing and meat eating are the primary causes of whale shark extinction.
  • Fishermen target whale sharks specifically because they make good prey.
  • Their population size has decreased due to this poaching over the years.
  • Fortunately, education is something that everyone can do to support the preservation of these gentle giants on this Day.
  • We can contribute to their protection for future generations if we educate ourselves about whale sharks and their significance on this Day .


  • Today is Whale Shark Day, a day to honour these incredible marine animals. Additionally, this day provides an opportunity to spread knowledge about the value of conservation.
  • You may anticipate a few things on Whale Shark Day. The first is that there are more whales and sharks in the sea than usual.
  • This is due to the fact that because they are typically elusive and shy, these creatures are easier to spot during this International Whale Shark Day occasion.
  • These animals could exhibit some peculiar habits.

Read also:- Carbon Footprint of India’s Marine Fisheries

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