Leopard Shark sightings at Koh Haa

On our dive trips, we expect to see sharks at Koh Bida, but in recent years, we haven’t seen many at Koh Haa.  This season, we have been lucky to have a number of sightings of leopard sharks at Koh Haa.

As some of you may know, we are working with the Spot the Leopard Shark project, which is a monitoring program being run by Dr Christine Dudgeon from the University of Queensland, Australia.

Leopard Shark

Recently, we had an amazing encounter with an adult male who was around 2 metres in length.  One of our divers, Sonja Loehner, was lucky to have her camera with her and took some great photos of him.  We submitted these photos to the project, and they were very quickly able to tell us that this leopard shark is the most photographed shark of the project.  Named Ben, he has been seen 13 times!

It is important to discover the sex of the shark.  If you look between the pectoral fin and the tail, and see a clasper, you can identify the shark as a male.  The absence of a clasper would indicate a female shark.

We will continue to submit photos and hope that we will find a new shark to add to the database.

 

Whale Shark at Koh Haa

For the last four weeks, we have been amazingly lucky to see a whale shark around the dive sites at Koh Haa. This male juvenile measures around 3.5 metres and is very playful. He seems to love bubbles and has been spending a lot of time near the surface, meaning snorkelers and divers have had some great opportunities to spend time with him.

whale shark koh haawhale sharks and remoraswhale shark feedingwhale shark Koh Haa Koh Lanta

The fish that you can see near the whale sharks are called remoras. These are also called suckerfish as they attach themselves to sharks and rays with suction and get transport and protection from the host species, as well as feeding on leftovers.

Whale sharks are filter feeders, using their huge mouths to suck up vast quantities of plankton, rather like a vacuum cleaner. A feeding shark sucks in huge quantities of water, and then expels the water through it’s gills, keeping the plankton.

It has been awe inspiring to watch this magnificent creatures. Let’s hope he stays around for a while longer!


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