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whale sharks shrinking


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#1 Leslie

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 12:33 PM

http://news.bbc.co.u...ure/4620960.stm

A study off Nigaloo Reef, Western Australia, has found the size of whale sharks have shrunk over the last decade from 7 meters in length to 5. Bad news for a species that probably isn't sexually mature until 6-7 meters long!

#2 wagsy

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 06:31 AM

Abit late in responding but I would have to agree.

They are getting smaller. First swan with them here in 1995 and now 10 years later can personally note the change.

Still get the odd big one and have only ever seen one true 12 meter one here but most are indeed only around 5 to 7 meters.

The other thing I have noticed in that time is less fish life on the dive sites, as more and more rec fishers come here and slaughter for fun..... Sad really....

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#3 alcina

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 04:57 PM

I'd take this with a grain of salt. The records are incomplete at best and the sample range quite small. The techniques used to measure sharks has also varied through the years with much of the size data coming from eyeball accounts - notoriously off :D

Most of our population of whale sharks seem to be juvenile/adolescnet males. We do get females, though seemingly not as many. We do get some larger sharks, but mostly they are in the 4-8m range throughout the season. On the up side, we also get quite a few very small whale sharks, which I see as a positive.

I've been on the Ningaloo since 1996 and have NOT seen a decrease in fish life. Guess it all depends on your perspective...
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