Where are all the whale sharks? Unfortunately, our tagging expedition was not the success we had hoped it would be. One satellite tag was deployed, but we still have many more to go! Also, it is surprising how few reports have come in through the survey this year; is this because the whale sharks are not around, or because people just aren’t reporting their sightings? Any information on this matter is most helpful.
The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) Whale Shark Sighting Survey is still collecting data on whale shark distribution in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
If you encounter a whale shark, please participate in GCRL’s ONLINE WHALE SHARK SIGHTINGS SURVEY.
To Report a Sighting:
Please complete the survey at http://www.usm.edu/gcrl/whaleshark
or call 228-872-4257
Information that is helpful to us includes:
[li]Time and duration of encounter[/li][li]Location (GPS coordinates)[/li][li]Approximate size and number of sharks[/li][li]Observed behavior[/li][li]Associated species[/li][li]Photos/video (especially of the region behind the gill slits on the left side of the animal—this is used for identification) [/li][li]Any other distinguishing features (i.e. numbered marker tags located behind the dorsal fin—please notate number)[/li][/ul]
Your participation is greatly appreciated and vital to a better understanding of whale shark movements and habitat in the Gulf of Mexico. Thank you.
For photos and updates on our research become our fan on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/whalesharkresearch