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SCIENTIFIC NAME: Rhincodon typus

DISTRIBUTION:  Whale sharks have a broad distribution in tropical and warm temperate seas, usually between latitudes 30°N and 35°S. They are known to inhabit both deep and shallow coastal waters and the lagoons of coral atolls and reefs.

IUCN STATUS: Endangered

THREATS: Unregulated tourism, fishing, shipping vessel collisions.

The whale shark is the world’s largest fish, growing to ~20 m in length, and inhabits tropical and warm temperate seas around the world. The species is globally Endangered due to continued overexploitation, particularly in the Indo-West Pacific region. We support research and policy globally for this species, and support partner projects on the ground. Current projects involve the development of global metrics to understand their ecology, novel genetics, and population assessment tools.

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