Of all the species of marine-life encountered in the Gulf of Thailand, the Whale Shark (Rhincodon Typus) is arguably THE main attraction in the opinion of most people.
The largest of all living fish, the Whale Shark can attain lengths of up to 12m (although there are unconfirmed reports of even larger individuals).
Whale Sharks feed by filtering small "bait fish" and plankton through their massive mouths and are therefore harmless to humans.
Their curious nature often sees them approaching divers and snorkelers, ensuring an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience for those lucky enough to encounter one.
Although considered to be nomadic by nature, the Koh Phangan/Koh Tao area has a number of juvenile individuals which have been sighted over a number of seasons, suggesting there may be a "resident" population in the Gulf of Thailand.
As part of a world-wide effort to fully understand and protect this endangered species, it is crucial to gather as much information as possible regarding their migratory habits.
In order to achieve this, it is critical that as many individuals as possible are identified as a means of tracking their movements.
The Dive Inn has joined other local dive operators (in addition to many others world-wide) in actively contributing to the identification of any Whale Sharks encountered in conjunction with the Ecocean project.
Due to the fact that all Whale Sharks posses a uniquely spotted skin pattern, their unique markings can be "mapped" and used to match encounters with the same individual in the future.
If you would like further information on the Ecocean Whale Shark Project, or are able to contribute in any way, please visit the website at www.whaleshark.org
Although there will be a selection of Whale Shark photos in this section, i have created a separate area dedicated to the Whale Sharks identified via the Ecocean Whale Shark Project.