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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e58255. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058255. Epub 2013 Mar 13.

Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, aggregate around offshore platforms in Qatari waters of the Arabian Gulf to feed on fish spawn.

Author information

1
Herriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom. sharkwatcharabia@gmail.com

Abstract

Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are known to aggregate to feed in a small number of locations in tropical and subtropical waters. Here we document a newly discovered major aggregation site for whale sharks within the Al Shaheen oil field, 90 km off the coast of Qatar in the Arabian Gulf. Whale sharks were observed between April and September, with peak numbers observed between May and August. Density estimates of up to 100 sharks within an area of 1 km(2) were recorded. Sharks ranged between four and eight metres' estimated total length (mean 6.92 ± 1.53 m). Most animals observed were actively feeding on surface zooplankton, consisting primarily of mackerel tuna, Euthynnus affinis, eggs.

PMID:
23516456
PMCID:
PMC3596407
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0058255
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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