In a video published by the Smithsonian channel, a diver stumbles across a whale shark trapped in a commercial fishing line in a marine sanctuary that bans fishing and frees him by cutting the rope. The giant fish lies still while the rope is cut. The footage also shows the scale of a whale shark vs a human.

A diver stumbles across a whale shark trapped in a commercial fishing line in a marine sanctuary that bans fishing. Seemingly sensing the diver is there to help, the giant fish lies still while the rope is cut. Unfortunately, accidental entanglement in fishing gear is a major threat to many already endangered marine species.

Whale shark

The whale shark (scientific name: (Rhincodon typus) is the largest living fist in the world. The biggest confirmed individual had a length of 12.65 meters (41.50 feet) and an estimated weight of about 21.5 metric tons (47,000 lb), and unconfirmed reports of considerably larger whale sharks exist.

Despite its size, the whale shark does not pose any danger to humans. They will often interact docilely with divers to the extent of allowing the divers to grab on to a fin and hitch a ride.

However, there have been a few cases of them butting sportfishing boats, possibly after being provoked.

Usually, they are more at risk of being struck accidentally by vessels whilst basking or feeding on the surface.

They feed on plankton and small fishes. They often swim near the surface of the open sea, gulping in water and filtering everything from plankton and fish eggs to occasional larger prey like squid or tuna.

This giant fish can grow as large as some species of whales. It is also a filter feeder like baleen whales (for example, the blue whale) – hence the name.

It is one of only three known filter-feeding shark species (along with the basking shark and the megamouth shark).

Diver saves whale shark
A diver stumbles across a whale shark trapped in a commercial fishing line in a marine sanctuary that bans fishing and frees him by cutting the rope. The giant fish lies still while the rope is cut. The footage also shows the scale of a whale shark vs a human. The largest fish in the oceans, they can grow up to 12.65 meters (41.50 feet) – this is the size of the largest confirmed individual. Claims of individuals over 14 metes (46 feet) long are not uncommon.

Sources

Whale shark on Wikipedia
Rhincodon typus on the Florida Museum website

M. Özgür Nevres

I am a software developer, a former road racing cyclist, and a science enthusiast. Also an animal lover! I write about the planet Earth and science on this website, ourplnt.com. You can check out my social media profiles by clicking on their icons.

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