Kenya is one of the most popular nations that offer whale shark tagging annually. Two days into this year’s expedition and the first acoustic tag has already been deployed. While two whale sharks were spotted, one was tagged. Devices that are meant for detecting small sounds help researchers in detecting and tracking the giant fish and this research is a means of learning more about its behavior and migration paths, survival means including observing prey and predatory trends.
Another segment in this research is to find out if the whale sharks are regular inhabitants of the Kenyan waters or if they migrate from one location to another based on their behavioral patterns. Although the process is extremely slow, researchers argue that studying whale sharks which happen to be the largest fish in the world will throw new light and perspective into their life sciences and several other factors.
These tags are used to carry and transmit a sound signal which relays information about the tagged whale to the hydrophone receiver. The researchers then calculate the 3D position of the whale by evaluating the time of sound’s arrival at each hydrophone. Acoustic fish tags can detect signals that are ten times deeper unlike radio tags which only detect signals within the first 10 meters of the surface. These tags are highly sophisticated and are manufactured solely for research purposes and cannot be sold to anyone without proper documentation or license.
Whale sharks can weigh as much as 13.6 tonnes and grow up to 12.2 meters in length which is approximately forty feet. Its origin goes back to 60 million years and the shark which can live upto seventy years is typically found in the tropical oceans. Ask any tourist that visits Kenya and the first thing he would talk about is catching a glimpse of the cute dolphins and the mammoth whale sharks.
Diani beach in Kenya hosts the annual expedition for whale shark tagging. In the current year, Golf Resort and Leisure Lodge Beach are offering reasonable rates for people willing to engage themselves in the expedition process. Reach South Coast and get to meet the world’s leading marine scientists and videographers. It would be an ideal situation for tourists to visit Kenya a month in advance, visit different beaches and resorts to have some fun before joining the expedition team. Contact the local travel agents to find about this adventurous expedition and be a part of it.