The ‘sea gypsies’ who live with whale sharks

The ‘sea gypsies’ who live with whale sharks

Although there are no regulations in Indonesia as to how close you can get to a whale shark (in contrast to other nations), we had been acutely aware to give the whale sharks the place and respect they need.

As we descended, we realised nothing at all had pretty organized us for the measurement of the creatures. A enormous male rose from the deep, gently gliding past us and up to the floor, sucking the succulent sardines from the net’s small openings into his cavernous mouth. Dwarfed, we cautiously moved closer to acquire a photograph.

Abruptly a second huge male emerged from under, gently nudging us with his pectoral fin as he handed. We photographed his left pectoral fin, simply because the distinctive place styles there and guiding the gills are the ideal way to establish it. After sending our photograph to Konservasi Indonesia as a contribution to their whale shark monitoring programme, we discovered that he had to start with been sighted on 16 December 2021 and goes by the moniker WP-RT-0209.

Following, a 3rd, slightly smaller male appeared. He curiously approached us entrance-on, with his huge, fleshy mouth wide open. Peering within to see rows of hundreds of little enamel, we held our ground, thinking if a collision could be imminent. But he gracefully passed by, on the lookout deep into our eyes as he went. Under, a large pod of dolphins stored their distance, feeding on the odd sardine that drifted down from the nets.

The momentousness of becoming surrounded by three of the planet’s most significant still most docile fish was complicated to comprehend. Just after 3 several hours, with digital camera memory cards comprehensive and batteries exhausted, we had been immensely grateful to the Bugis for sharing the option to sit at the dining desk of the biggest fish in the sea.

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Genie Mathena

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