Scientific Name: Rhincodon typus
Whale sharks are the largest fishes in the ocean, growing up to 12.2 m (40 ft.) in length and weighing up to 13.6 tonnes (30,000 lbs.). Despite their immense size, whale sharks are plankton feeders – using their enormous mouths to suck in water then expelling it through the gills, filtering out plankton and nekton in specially-modified gill rakers.
Whale sharks around found in topical and subtropical oceans world-wide. They are harvested for food in some regions, but are not currently targeted as a commercial species. Their large size, slow growth and late maturation suggest that whale sharks could be susceptible to overfishing, and is listed as “Vulnerable” with the IUCN.