Whale Shark Project



Shark Guardian is working with Wildbook’s WhaleShark.org project to collect whale shark sightings worldwide. To participate, simply send us your photos, date & location of sighting.

Did you know that by photographing a whale shark you can directly contribute to a global effort to better understand and protect these amazing animals? The whale shark is listed as vulnerable to extinction in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Photographs showing the distinctive patterning and scarring on whale sharks are used to uniquely identify individuals for long-term, mark-recapture analysis. Resulting population models can be used by local, regional, and international conservation and management authorities to understand the pressures on this species and to take specific action to protect them.

53000+ photos collected
25000+ sighting reports
5200+ whale sharks collaboratively tagged
4000+ data contributors
365 research days/year

Report your whale shark encounter here


Your photos or videos can help support research for these gentle giants. Simply email info@sharkguardian.org with the date, location and photo &/or video of sighting.


Additionally you can also download and fill in the Shark Guardian Whale Shark Sighting Form. Fill it in and email it to info@sharkguardian.org together with your images or video of the whale shark.

Whale Shark Project: How it works

whaleshark_example_ecocean_2Whale sharks have unique spots and stripe patterns just like humans have different finger prints. These can be used for identifying individual whale sharks for research purposes.

Learn how to take photographs of whale sharks here


The information is gathered and compared in special software. Whale Shark researchers can then map out where the whale sharks have been spotted in other locations around the world. Researchers can analyze the database to establish whale shark movements, important habitats and population health.

Find more information in the PDF’s found in our Whale Shark Project Downloads and Resources Page

Leave a Reply