Whale Shark in Botany Bay - April 2011

By: Mark McGrouther, Category: Science, Date: 19 Apr 2011

A friend just called me to say that she had heard that a Whale Shark was swimming in Botany Bay.  "No way" was my initial reaction. Apparently members of the Abyss Scuba Diving encountered the fish this morning and have posted images on their Facebook account.

Whale Shark in Botany Bay

Whale Shark in Botany Bay
Photographer: Carl Fallon (Abyss Scuba Diving, Sydney) © Carl Fallon

The species has been previously recorded from Botany Bay, in fact one stranded there in 1964 (see lower image).

In Australia it is known primarily from northern Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland. It is also recorded from scattered localities in New South Wales, Victoria and even the western Great Australian Bight.

View the Whale Shark page.
View the 'Whale Shark in Botany Bay!!' gallery.

Post script (29 April 2011)

The fish was estimated to be 4 m in length. Carl Fallon and companions from Abyss Diving couldn't believe it as their boat passed by "a very large shark" at about 11 am on April 2011. As quickly as possible they returned to the spot where they saw the shark, but it had 'disappeared'. After searching for a few minutes, the shark actually swam up to their boat where it remained for 3 to 4 minutes. It circled the boat several times, even raising an eye out of the water to watch the occupants, before swimming away.

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Whale Shark, Botany Bay, Rhincodontidae, Rhincodon typus,


Mark McGrouther - 10.04 PM, 21 April 2011

Hi Kevin.  Thank you for your comment.  Whale Sharks might be blue, but I am green with jealously!  I have seen the images of the fish taken from the surface on the Abyss Diving's Facebook page and would love to include one of them on this page if that is possible.  Several people have suggested that the sighting was a late April Fool's joke.  Good thing it didn't happen on the 1st!  If it is possible to use an image, I would very much like to know exactly where the fish was encountered.  Feel free to include more details in another comment and to attach an image.  Thanks again for your input.  I'll try to control my envy :)

kevinfallon - 6.04 PM, 21 April 2011
It was seen in Botany Bay - Carl Fallon my brother actual photographed it whilst heading out to the Fads from Botany Bay - fhere is the photo he posted...

Report misuse