Koh Tao and the Gulf of Thailand – a whale shark destination.

Since many years already the Gulf of Thailand is known for its whale shark population. Especially around Ko Tao and close by dive spots they are regular visitors. But especially in the last two or three years it appeared that the number is increasing constantly.

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Since 2017 we also have prove that there is definitely a huge number of whale sharks coming to the area around Ko Samui and Ko Tao on a regular basis. The Thai department of Marine and Coastal Resources has released impressive number by the end of 2017.

Big fish

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Whale Shark

Open Water

whale shark sail rock

In a period of 9 month between January and August 2017 not less than 91 whale sharks have been spotted and registered in the Gulf of Thailand. A quite impressive number considering the fact that the whale shark is one of our planet’s endangered species.

From these 91 whale sharks 58 have been spotted around Koh Tao and close by dive sites. More than 20 whale sharks have been spotted off Chumphon’s coastline closer to the Thai mainland. The remaining encounters have mostly been made around the upper Gulf in the area of Koh Chang in Trat and Chonburi provinces.

How to check

The whale sharks have been documented through photographs mostly made by recreational Scuba divers and snorkelers. When comparing these photos of the whale sharks and especially the pattern of the spots on their skin, an interesting fact was observed: Over 90 percent of the encountered individuals have only been seen once or twice. It hardly ever happened that the same individual has been seen another time at some other place. This fact makes marine enthusiasts believe that the whale sharks are migrating through the Gulf of Thailand. They are following the currents that are bringing a lot of plankton into the Gulf.

So our area seems to be a very popular feeding ground for the biggest fish in the world. Lucky for us – we are very happy to be able to see whale sharks at our dive sites on a very regular basis.

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