Great Barrier Reef tourists treated to spectacular whale shark encounter

Breathtaking video has emerged of a rare brush with a whale shark on the Great Barrier Reef yesterday.

Exceptional water clarity gave tourists aboard Silversonic a highly visible show of the gentle giant.


“Some of our lucky crew managed to get into the water to capture some amazing footage of this magestic behemoth,” said Silversonic skipper Shane ‘Sharky’ Down.

“These are the gentle giants of the pcean and it was filter feeding on plankton.

“A truly magical encounter for everyone.”

The passengers and crew were returning to Port Douglas when the largest fish in the sea was spotted 400 metres off Turtle Bay at Agincourt Reef.

Mr Down said while whale sharks are common off the north-west of Australia, they’re among the rarest marine encounters on the Great Barrier Reef.

Some whale shark facts:

  • Whale sharks sieve plankton through their gills for much of their nourishment. They also eat squid, krill, and small fish.
  • The largest confirmed whale shark was 41.5 feet long and weighed about 21.5 tons.
  • Whale sharks have a lifespan that’s estimated to be 70 to 100 years and reach sexual maturity at around 30 years old.
  • Females give birth to live young which are 16 to 24 inches long.