Who would have ever thought that the largest and most graceful fish in the ocean would also turn out to be a giant (both figuratively and literally) kleptomaniac? Well, footage recently posted on the GrindTV Blog shows just that…a very large whale shark absolutely inhaling fish through a small tear in a big platform net belonging to commercial fishermen. The clip, which was filmed in Indonesia’s Cenderawasih Bay, not only shows the shark’s more opportunistic side, but it also reveals a little known fact about whale sharks…they don’t just filter plankton out of the water. Instead, they rely on a variety of slow moving or even immobile creatures (in this case dead fish) to fill their tummies.
Besides being a fun video for us to show on a slow Sunday, the clip is also important in showing just how dangerous human activities in the oceans can be for sea dwellers. The video is cute and all, but the net poses a serious risk to the whale shark. Not only could the shark become entangled in the net, but it could also choke on it if it tore away from the boat or got caught on something in the shark’s mouth. Furthermore, angered fishermen don’t sit back and smile at these activities. More often than not, they will harm or even kill a shark that gets anywhere close to their nets, let alone stealing directly from them.