Happy Whale Shark Day!

cute-whale-shark-square

It’s International Whale Shark Day! These amazingly adorable, giant filter-feeding sharks are vulnerable around the world. Because they cruise along slowly not far beneath the ocean’s surface, they can be hit by ships and caught by fishing gear intended for other fish. In some countries, they’re deliberately caught for their meat. Supporting sustainable fishing (like getting rid of illegal nets and not taking too many fish) protects whale sharks along with hundreds of other vulnerable and endangered species.

If you ever have the chance to dive with these amazing sharks, make sure to choose a responsible tour company and follow international guidelines about not bothering them too much. You don’t want to interfere with their eating and living their normal, wild lives.

You can learn more from the World Wildlife Fund or the Shark Trust.