High-Tech Tags Reveal Whale Shark Behaviour

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Whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, dive nearly a mile in search of food, according to high-tech electronic tags that have recorded every aspect of the fish’s life.

Rachel Graham, of the U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and colleagues from the University of York, U.K., attached electronic tags to nine whale sharks swimming at the Gladden Spit reef off Belize, the world’s second-largest barrier reef system.

Thousands of snappers gather there under full moons in the spring to spawn, turning the sea a milky color and drawing normally solitary whale sharks, which feast on snapper fish “caviar.”

Part of the folklore of the reef’s fishermen, the spectacle has proved to be a unique possibility for the researchers to attach satellite-controlled tagging devices to the fish’s thick skin.

Source: Discovery Channel