Whale Sharks, Rhincodon typus, Aggregate around Offshore Platforms in Qatari Waters of the Arabian Gulf to Feed on Fish Spawn

David P. Robinson, Mohammed Y. Jaidah, Rima W. Jabado, Katie Lee-Brooks, Nehad M. Nour El-Din, Ameena A.Al Malki, Khaled Elmeer, Paul A. McCormick, Aaron C. Henderson, Simon J. Pierce, Rupert F.G. Ormond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are known to aggregate to feed in a small number of locations in tropical and subtropical waters. Here we document a newly discovered major aggregation site for whale sharks within the Al Shaheen oil field, 90 km off the coast of Qatar in the Arabian Gulf. Whale sharks were observed between April and September, with peak numbers observed between May and August. Density estimates of up to 100 sharks within an area of 1 km2 were recorded. Sharks ranged between four and eight metres' estimated total length (mean 6.92±1.53 m). Most animals observed were actively feeding on surface zooplankton, consisting primarily of mackerel tuna, Euthynnus affinis, eggs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere58255
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 13 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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