The benefits of an ethical whale shark dive  

Not all whale shark dives are created equal. 

It can be easy to get excited and book a whale shark dive without doing the research needed to ensure it’s ethical and sustainable. But it is important to do that research and understand the role you play when it comes to seeing these majestic creatures up close. 

An ethical whale shark dive benefits not only the whale sharks and the ocean’s delicate ecosystem, but it also benefits you as a tourist. 

What is an ethical whale shark dive?

At its very core, an ethical whale shark dive takes responsibility for the protection of the whale sharks and their environment, sustaining it for generations to come, while still allowing tourists to enjoy and learn. 

There are multiple companies out there that carry out unethical practices, such as luring whale sharks with food, overpopulating tour groups, and touching the whale sharks. These practices put distress on whale sharks and interrupt their migration patterns. By learning about what safe and ethical whale shark dive practices look like, you can be ensured your shark dive is a good one.

Benefits: For You

Seeing incredible sea life up close

Whale sharks are pretty amazing creatures. It’s not every day you see huge, spotty fish in their natural habitat. It’s a truly magical experience, and one you won’t forget any time soon – especially considering whale sharks only gather in a handful of places around the world. 

It’s definitely one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities – you’ll no doubt feel incredibly small next to these gentle giants! 

Experience their natural behaviour in their own habitat

Here’s the thing – when whale sharks are overwhelmed and stressed out, they’re not going to behave as they naturally would. The beauty of an ethical whale shark dive is that by maintaining a safe distance and undertaking ethical practices, you’ll have the unique opportunity of witnessing whale sharks behaving the way they should. You’re truly seeing these creatures in their most natural form – which is pretty spectacular. 

Get expert knowledge

There are some whale shark dive operators around the world whose first priority is making money. When you find an ethical tour company, you’ll know it, because tour guides will be highly knowledgeable and passionate, and eager to share what they know with the group. 

Getting that education is important to the experience; knowing more about them and what you can do to make them feel safe is imperative to a successful dive. Learn more about their patterns, conservation, and how you can ensure their future safety. 

Guaranteed safety

Ethical whale shark tours will have your safety and the safety of the whale sharks as a top priority at all times. Reputable operators, like whale shark exmouth tours, will have safety tenders and spotter planes to ensure everybody is safe both in and out of the water, and that the whale sharks are protected.

Prospering of communities

The Ningaloo Reef is one of the most popular places in the world to dive with whale sharks due to its natural beauty, weather, whale shark migration patterns, and incredible tour guides. Tourism is vital to any economy and the draw of an ethical whale shark dive means the community is also able to prosper. 

Benefits: For Whale Sharks

Helps to educate people 

Being educated when it comes to safe diving practices is imperative as whale sharks are such an important part of our ecosystem. Without whale sharks, the ocean loses the long-term regulation of plankton levels leaving the ocean food chain to suffer. As whale sharks are so highly sought after by poachers, the more we educate people about how they can partake in minimising this, the better. 

Provides a research platform to collect data on whale behaviour

Diving with whale sharks gives way to opportunities to learn from them, including their behaviours, migrating patterns and feeding habits. This further assists in conservation practices and making sure we are constantly adjusting the way humans interact with them. Through research, experts have been able to track whale shark paths, their contribution to the ecosystem, how many tours are able to be performed and what the presence of vessels does to the behaviour of whale sharks. 

Ethical practices

By seeking out ethical whale shark dives, you are able to enjoy your experience with the knowledge that you weren’t providing any unnecessary distress to the animal. The best way to ensure you are doing this is by listening to your guide who will inform you of the ways you can practise safe diving. These will include:

  • Not touching or attempting to touch a whale shark
  • Allowing others to have room
  • Not disturbing the movement of a whale shark 
  • Not getting in the way of the direction a whale shark is swimming in

The Wrap-Up

Ensuring you find an ethical whale shark dive is not only beneficial to you, but to the community and to the whale sharks and delicate ecosystem in which they live. Treat these beautiful creatures as they deserve to be treated, and you’re guaranteed an unforgettable experience.