Population and distribution

Social groups

Whale sharks are mainly solitary in nature, but they can be gregarious and amass in the hundreds to feed.


Whale sharks are regarded as highly migratory. Their migratory patterns are poorly understood. They are slow swimmers at speeds of no more than 5 kph. They swim by moving the end of their bodies from side to side (not just their tails, like the other sharks do)

Population and distribution

Whale sharks live mainly in the warm sea belt north and south of the equator, including the western Atlantic and southern Pacific. They are not found in Mediterranean Sea. Australia is one of the most reliable locations to find whale sharks. Regular sightings have also been recorded from many other regions including India, the Maldives, South Africa, Belize, Mexico, the Galapagos Islands, Southeast Asia and Indonesia. In Thailand it is usually found in Chumphon Province (Chumporn pinnacle), PhnagNga Province (Richelieu Rock, KoTachai, KoHinpusa), Pattani Province (KoLosin), Surattani Province (Ko Tao), Krabi Province (HinMuang-Hin Dang, KoTukonlima, KoBidaNok, Bida Rock).

This species is rare. Prior to the mid-1980s, there had been less than 350 confirmed reports of whale sharks worldwide.


Whale shark Global Distribution Ref. : www.whalesharkproject.org


Whale shark Distribution in Thailand