Whale Shark Research in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

Whale shark off Mississippi Coast - Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

A 10-meter whale shark filter feeds on the surface of the northern
Gulf of Mexico. Photo by GCRL

Despite the fact that the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is the largest fish in the ocean, little is known about their biology and ecology. Other than a few accounts of their occurrence, information is scant for whale sharks in the Gulf of Mexico region. In response to this need for information, we initiated research to understand the basic biology, behavior, and movement patterns of whale sharks in the northern Gulf.

This website provides basic information on whale sharks, increase awareness of their presence in the region, describe our ongoing research activities and encourage participation in our whale shark sighting survey. The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory operates a whale shark sighting report system. Sighting reports from the public are extremely valuable. This flyer provides details. Sighting reports for the last several years can be viewed here.