Whale Sharks On Koh Tao

The Whale Shark is another of the great variety of fish that Koh Tao diving has to offer.  And the most popular with our divers, they are very docile and if you are lucky you can get a great photo.  Here we will talk about how they look and how you can identify individuals.  Where you can find them while diving on Koh Tao and what they do.  And we will talk about what diving courses Mojo Divers has to offer.

Whale Shark Description

The whale shark is a slow-moving, filter-feeding carpet shark and the largest known fish in the sea.  The largest confirmed individual had a length of 18.8m but pose no threat to humans.  Remember to follow the rules about how close you should be to them when diving on Koh Tao as you can be hit accidentally by its tail if you get too close. They are one of only 3 species of shark that are filter feeders and have estimated lifespans of between 80–130 years.  Each fish has a unique pattern of spots on its body and that is how they can be identified, same as our fingerprints.

A whale shark swimming with pilot fish

Whale shark, biggest fish in the sea

Where Can You See Them While Diving?

They can be seen at the deeper dive sites like Chumphon and South West pinnacles, but they can be found at Twins and White Rock and Hin Wong Pinnacle on rare occasions.  So open water divers can see them easily because they are most often in shallow water as they feed.  You don’t have to go deep, whale sharks are seasonal visitors to Koh Tao so seeing one is never guaranteed here. We don’t take part in any unnatural feeding unlike other places in the world.  You are very lucky if you do see one on your open water course.

A whale shark photographed from a boat

A whale shark feeding near the surface

What Do They Do

They have very large mouths and are filter feeders. Their mouths can contain over 300 rows of tiny teeth and 20 filter pads which it uses to feed almost exclusively on plankton and small fishes. The fish can be found in both coastal and oceanic habitats living in the open sea but not in the deep depths of the ocean.  Still very little is known about their reproduction cycle as they have only been observed mating twice or how long they live and they have yet to be seen giving birth

A whale shark near the surface

The biggest fish in the sea

Want To Know More About Diving On Koh Tao?

So if you are interested in learning to identify fish you can study the Fish Identification course online.
SSI Fish Identification card

SSI Fish Identification

So if you would like to know more about Koh Tao diving contact us and you can find out more about the diving we offer by clicking on the links below or follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

Koh Tao Diving Courses

Want To Know More About Koh Tao’s Marine Life?




Weibeli Butterfly Fish

A Bluespotted Stingray


Yellow Boxfish

Find out more about SSI diver training agency here: Dive SSI