February 14, 2022
KOTA KINABALU – A mid-size whale shark has been detected in Pulau Sapi, off the city’s coast on Sunday (Feb 13).
The shark, known locally as “Buding”, was believed to have been recorded by a boatman who was ferrying visitors to the island in the morning.
The average size of a whale shark is about 12m long and weighs 14 tonnes, with some larger specimens about 18m.
Sabah Parks director Maklarin Lakim said whale sharks pose no threat to divers as they are not carnivorous.
“They feed on plankton,” he said, adding whale sharks are not whales or mammals but are the biggest fish species in the world.
He urged the public not to hurt or disturb whale sharks if they spot them.
Meanwhile, former Sabah Parks director Datuk Dr Jamili Nais said whale sharks were often seen in waters off Sabah, more often in northern areas like Kudat.
“It is normal to see the species in Sabah waters,” he said.
The whale shark is the mascot for the Tun Mustapha Marine Park in Kudat.