Whale Shark Migrates Approximately 20,000 Kilometers Creating the Longest Record by any Species
Whale shark (Photo credits: Pixabay)

A female whale shark has created a record by migrating a distance of up to 20,000 kilometres (12,000 miles). The giant whale which belongs to a species called whale sharks swam all the way across the Pacific from Coiba National Park in Panama to the Marianas Trench. There has not been that much of an in-depth research about these giant fishes but researchers are sure this is the longest migration ever recorded. Anne's route was tracked by researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

According to them, similar whale sharks have been tracked for covering relatively shorter distances during migration but Anne has not just broken the record by miles but also given an evidence of the trans-Pacific route. They tracked her well for 266 days but then the signal was lost. It was an indication that she was going too deep. She swam from Panamanian waters to Clipperton Island, she passed through the Darwin Island in the Galapagos, a site that is common for sharks. After losing the signals, the researchers recovered it again after a gap of 200 days. This time the transmissions were from the South of Hawaii. She was there for about nine days.

The researchers are unclear as to what was she doing so deep for the time period. Genetic studies on whale sharks have shown that they travel long distances to mate. Anne was first tagged by marine biologist Dr Héctor Guzmán near Coiba Island in Panama. He said: “We have very little information about why whale sharks migrate, are they searching for food, seeking breeding opportunities or driven by some other impulse?”

The whale sharks are found in warm, tropical and sub-tropical waters. It is thought that about a quarter of whale sharks live primarily in the Atlantic, whereas about three-fourths live in the Indo-Pacific. The species of whale sharks has been declared endangered in the year 2016.