During the week with the longest day in the year, we had the privilege to meet the biggest fish in the world: a Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus)! In our 20+ years of offering retreats in Bimini, this is the first time we’ve seen this species — which can grow to 60 feet (18 meters) long and weigh up to 70,000 lbs (roughly 32,000 kilos)!
Their large size may give them the name “whale”, but they are not mammals — as dolphins and true whales are. They are a variety of Carpetshark, so named because of their elaborately patterned skins, which look like carpets.
Moving slowly through open water, these gentle giants filter small prey (including plankton, krill and small fish) through their mesh-like gills. They are not dangerous to humans, and may reach 60 to 100 years in age.
Whale Shark sighting by WildQuest – new individual tagged on WhaleShark.org as CRB-021.