International Whale Shark Day was established to raise awareness about the importance of whale sharks to marine ecosystems. Every year the day is celebrated on August 30. The main purpose of creating this day is to encourage efforts to conserve this species. This is the largest shark species on the planet. Whale sharks can reach up to 12 meters or 40 feet in length and about 21.5 tons in weight.
The behavior of a whale shark is not like any aggressive shark. They are very gentle and humble not harmful. Normally they swim in shallow depths and that’s why people easily can catch them. As they are easy to fish, they take place on the threatened species list. The shortage of their food source like plankton is another big cause of the decline.
History of International Whale Shark Day
In 2008, at the International Whale Shark Conference, some ocean experts and scientists first founded the International Whale Shark Day. They are concerned about the declination of whale sharks. We are able to know these whale sharks first in 1820. They are known to us for their gentle manners.
When Whale Shark is born normal they are 16 – 24 inches. Gradually they grow and at a young age they may reach up to 46 to 60 feet long. They have 300 rows of 3,000 teeth, which are only 0.2 inches long! whale sharks are filter-feeders, mostly consuming planktons, squids, and fish appetites that can lead them to eat 44 lbs. of food every day.
Whale Shark has an attractive pattern of dots and lines on its skin. Generally, they love to swim in shallow and warm water. As they are regularly hunted for fins, meat even for only entertainment, they are enlisted on the endangered species list. Still, now the Philippines are running a whale shark business. International Whale Shark Day is established to save them, otherwise, our ecosystem of the ocean will be extremely affected.
International Whale Shark Day Activities
Reducing any plastic usage
Plastic pollution is a great problem for whale sharks. The plastic will make it sick, not allowing it to eat anything else. So, to save our whale sharks, we should decrease or reduce our plastic usage.
Learn More about International Whale Shark Day
Sharks are dangerous attractive sea animals. Whale sharks are a kind of shark but they have some special characteristics. We should learn more about these amazing sea creatures.
International Whale Shark Day Social Media Activities
You can change your social media profile photo and upload any photo or poster about Whale Shark Day. You can also write or share any post about the importance of this day. All these celebratory methods will help spread awareness about the endangered species.
6 Interesting Facts of International Whale Shark Day
Here I’m sharing some interesting facts on Whale Shark. Maybe this is the first time you are learning this. These will enrich your knowledge of whale sharks. You can share these with your friends.
1. Not relatives of whales
Really these whale sharks are not any kind of whales. They are a kind of shark. But their nature is not aggressive.
2. Feeding is hard
Whale sharks do not have sharp and long teeth, and this is why it is only possible for them to swallow their food (shrimps, fish, and planktons) whole.
3. Extremely long lives
Whale sharks can live up to 150 years provided they survive to that age as more than 90% of all whale sharks are killed before they reach the 150-year mark.
4. Slow swimmers
Whale sharks are slow swimmers, and the highest speed they can reach is 3.1 miles per hour.
5. Do not stay with their young
Unlike whales, whale sharks do not stay with their younglings after giving birth.
6. You can ride on it
These generally gentle creatures are also known for carrying human beings on their backs and taking them for a ride.
International Whale Shark Day Celebration
It’s a celebration of the gentlest creatures
Whale sharks are some of the gentlest creatures in nature. From their swimming and feeding habits to their beautiful patterns they show their calmness. Whale sharks truly deserve the title, “gentle giants”. You can easily swim with it.
It’s a celebration of Ancient Giant
If we take a deep dive into the evolution of whale sharks, we can learn a lot about the planet’s history. We can say that this day is a celebration of an Ancient Giant.
It’s a celebration of ecosystem
Whale sharks have a great contribution to keeping a balanced ecosystem. Without whale sharks, our oceans would swell with plankton populations. This growth would extremely affect all sea creatures. In this way, the ecosystem might break down.
Whale sharks are plankton patrollers and the role they play benefits the ocean in a big way. Beyond their plankton-gulping abilities, whale sharks contribute to the health of the ocean by just being part of the ecosystem, and if they weren’t around we’d see significant changes in the sea. By observing the International Whale Shark Day we can spread a strong message to our world leaders.