Rolling in the deep.
Perhaps Most definitely the coolest photo I will ever have with a whale shark. Taken by photographer and all round hero, Steve De Neef (www.stevedeneef.com).
This shot was taken whilst we were out on survey here in Southern Leyte last week. This individual is actually LSR-24 – the 24th shark our LAMAVE team has identified here in Sogod Bay. It’s a juvenile male and if you look closely at the photograph you’ll see it has a big scar across the back of it’s head- probably from a fishing line.
The photo shows me photographing the shark for identification. By taking photographs of the unique spot pattern on the left side of the shark – just behind the gills and above the pectoral fin - we can identify individual sharks – it’s effectively a cheap way of tagging whale sharks and it’s through this process that we are assessing the whale shark population in this area of the Philippines. One thing we are trying to find out is whether the sharks are hanging around or just passing through? This individual, LSR-24 has now been here for over a month, having first been identified by our LAMAVE team at the end of February this year. Whilst I took the photograph, he continued to feed slowly, the two of us, chilling just below 10 meters from the surface…