International Whale Shark Day is observed on August 30 every year. It is an opportunity to celebrate these colossal marine animals. They play an important role in the marine ecosystem. The whale shark was declared endangered by IUCN Red List in 2016. Commercial fishing due to the demand for their meat and fins, and entanglement in fishing gear(bycatch) are the main threats to their population. International Whale Shark Day presents an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of whale sharks to marine ecosystems and their plight. On this day you can also encourage conservation projects aimed at whale sharks and donate to the organizations working for their wellbeing.
In 2023, International Whale Shark Day will be celebrated on Wednesday, August 30.
Interesting Facts About Whale Sharks
- The whale shark is the largest fish on earth (blue whale is a mammal).
- They can be over 65 ft long. They can weigh over 22000 kg.
- Each one of these marine giants has a unique pattern of spots on its skin, like our fingerprints.
- They are filter feeders and can neither bite nor chew.
- Whale Sharks have about 3000 tiny teeth that are of little use.
- Whale sharks can stretch their mouth to four feet wide and can process over 1500 gallons of water an hour through their gills.