And that’s a wrap!

After two weeks apart (and one big swim for me!), Kylie and I were reunited in Broome for the final leg of the ECOCEAN Road Trip. It was time to find out if the world’s biggest fish had been seen off the Broome coast before.

We spent the day at Broome Senior High School chatting to the Science classes. A handful of them had been to Ningaloo swimming with whale sharks, but most of them hadn’t and were quite intrigued with the 10m blow up whale shark that had shown up at their school for the day. The kids told me that they had seen humpback whales off their coast, but hadn’t sighted any whale sharks. I told them to keep an eye out for them as whale sharks are found all throughout the tropics, so it is very likely that they could be around Broome.

Back in Broome, it was Gullivers time to shine again

One of the teachers, John Clark, told us about his experiences with whale sharks. He lived in Exmouth during the 80’s and 90’s and worked alongside Geoff Taylor, one of the first people to start monitoring whale sharks off the Ningaloo Reef. So John knew what he was looking for when he moved to Broome not too long ago. John saw a whale shark off Gantheaume Point in April 2010 and one off Coconut Wells around the same time. So it seems whale sharks do pass by Broome!

Some of the art students added a Broome scene to the ECOCEAN trailer, including a saltwater crocodile, which are occasionally seen around Broome. Saltwater crocodiles are the world’s largest living reptile and as their name suggests, can live in saltwater. They do, however, usually reside in mangrove swamps and rivers. The ECOCEAN trailer is now completely covered in art work from all over WA! It looks fantastic and will be a good reminder of the Road Trip in the future.

Students from Broome Senior High School add their mark to the ECOCEAN trailer

Our final community meeting was held at Lotteries House in Broome, thanks to Malcolm Lindsay from Environs Kimberley. Community members from various environmental groups, including NRM Rangelands and the Roebuck Bay Working Group came along to hear about ECOCEAN’s work. No one at the meeting had heard of whale sharks off the Broome coast, but they had some good suggestions of people who might have such as charter boat companies and the Broome Aquaculture Centre. I will follow them up and add their information to our sightings database.

Well, thats the end of the ECOCEAN Road Trip! a HUGE thanks to the Garry White Foundation, Scitech (through the Inspiring Australia Initiative) and Mitsubishi Australia. Without your support, the Road Trip wouldn’t have happened and ECOCEAN wouldn’t have been able to learn more about the world’s biggest fish. Our results will contribute to the current knowledge of whale shark distribution around Western Australia.

Thanks to everyone who attended the ECOCEAN workshops, the school teachers who organised us to visit their schools, the wonderful friends who let us stay at their house and the best roadie ever – KYLIE!

Gulliver will be heading towards Exmouth for the Whale Shark Festival (May 24th-26th) – see you there!

 

Broome Time

Our final stop on the ECOCEAN Road Trip is Broome. As its school holidays now, Kylie and I have to wait until they are over to carry out our school visit. We thought we would also wait to hold our community meeting until then too. So we will be back in a couple of weeks to finish collecting data on the world’s biggest fish.  In the meantime, Amy and I will also be doing our big swim in Lake Argyle to promote ECOCEAN and marine conservation. Kylie will be checking in the gorges around Broome just to make sure there aren’t any whale sharks in them. Wish us luck! See you all soon.

We celebrate getting to Broome with a beautiful Cable Beach sunset

One of the busiest ports in Australia

Sadly, it was time to leave Tash, KC and KC junior for the brighter lights of Port Hedland, a short 2 ½ drive up the track. When we arrived into town, we headed for the Port Hedland Port Authority to meet Paul Mackey, who has been helping me promote ECOCEAN’s visit to town. Paul had arranged for us to stay in one of their units near the beach so we did the usual ‘Kim and Kylie explosion’ unpacking trick and settled in.

The next day we headed to Port Hedland Primary School. Being the last day of term, I think the students (and especially the teachers) were glad to have the distraction of a 10m blow up whale shark at their school. Kylie joined the art class in painting the ECOCEAN trailer while I did presentations to two different groups of students.

Port Hedland Primary School art students cover the back of the ECOCEAN trailer with a collection of their favourite fish, including a local speciality – a Barramundi

The kids were quite interested in the breeding habits of the whale shark. I told them that we still don’t know where whale sharks breed and that whale shark pups have only been observed a few times before. Unfortunately, one of these times was in Taiwan in 1996. A female whale shark was found caught in a fishing net, already dead. When she was cut open, there were 300 babies inside! The pups were at different life stages, indicating that they aren’t born at once, but rather the female whale shark retains sperm from one mating and produces a steady stream of pups over a prolonged period. Whale sharks are ovoviviparous meaning that their eggs remain in the females body and she gives birth to live young (which are 40-60cm long and come out with their distinctive spots already).  The kids were quite surprised we don’t know where the world’s biggest fish breeds. I agreed with them and said that it was one of ECOCEAN’s research objectives for the future.

Port Hedland Primary School students enjoying a visit from Gulliver on their last day of term

Kylie and I spent the afternoon interviewing locals on previous whale shark sightings off Port Hedland. We targeted the skippers and helicopter pilots who work around the port and who we thought would be good ears and eyes on the water. Many of the workers we spoke to in Port Hedland are FIFO’s and hadn’t been working in town for a long time. No one had seen whale sharks off the coast in the past 12 months.

Port Hedland is one of the busiest ports in Australia. There are constantly 40 – 50 ships waiting to enter the port and load up with Pilbara iron ore, which is then shipped all over the world. In a 24 hour period, the cost of one ship being in port is worth $30 million.  So you can imagine the cost to iron ore companies when the port was shut down for three days in February with the threat of Cyclone Rusty. Thanks to Paul, we had a tour of the inner harbor with the guys from ‘Go Marine’ who were responsible for monitoring the harbour’s activities. We got to see the ships being loaded up and led back out with the assistance of the tugboats. Apparently they try and have them in and out within 17 hours.

Enjoying an inner harbour cruise in one of the busiest and largest ports in the world

That night ECOCEAN had been invited to be the guest speakers at the AGM for local environment group CARE Port Hedland. This was a perfect opportunity to meet some of the locals and ask them about previous whale shark sightings off their coast. Turns out no one had heard of whale sharks off Port Hedland but they did offer to add whale sharks to their community monitoring program that they currently use for marine mammals  – great news for ECOCEAN! The more eyes and ears on the water, the better 🙂

Beauty in the heart of The Pilbara

We have been pretty lucky so far with mechanical issues. The Mitsubishi Challenger is travelling extremely well and makes the journey very pleasant. The ECOCEAN trailer, which we have nicknamed ‘Shaz’, hasn’t been as lucky. The hinges have snapped, Kylie may have misplaced the cap on the fishing rod tube, which is also now being held on mainly by cable ties (Thanks Trent!). Just when Kylie and I were congratulating ourselves on not having a flat tyre so far, BOOM! Shaz got one. Kylie had been wanting to change a tyre, so this was her chance!

Kylie changes our first flat tyre for the Road Trip!

After 1 tyre change, the most expensive ice coffee to date and 7 hours on the road, we rocked into Karratha, the first ‘mining town’ we have experienced. It was peak afternoon traffic and most of the cars had the tell-tale signs we were in ‘FIFO’ country with orange flags and fluro-clad drivers. We headed to good friends Tash and KC’s house. KC grew up in Karratha and after years away has returned to his hometown to bring up KC junior with Tash. It was great to see them and good to get a local’s perspective of the changes Karratha has seen over the past 30 years.

Karratha was built in 1968 to support the growing iron-ore industry and the need for a new regional centre caused by a shortage of land in Dampier (built earlier in 1965). Today, there is still a large iron-ore industry in Karratha as well as Australia’s largest natural gas projects, the North West Shelf LNG facility and the newer Pluto LNG. There has been some debate over the development of the latter project on the nearby Burrup Peninsula.  This area is home to the world’s largest collection of ancient Aboriginal rock art that some claim date back as far as the last ice age about 10,000 years ago. The Burrup Peninsula, part of the Dampier Archipelago, has been listed in The National Trust of Australia for its ecological, historical, cultural and archaeological significance.

Looking out over Dampier, built before Karratha in 1965 to support the iron-ore industry

Kylie and I spent the next morning at St. Lukes College (KC’s old school!). The Pilbara Echo newspaper came down to meet us and take a photo with the students and Gulliver. I did a presentation to a group of the upper school students who are heading to Exmouth in a month to swim with whale sharks. We spoke about ECOCEAN’s Photo-Id program and how they could become ‘citizen scientists’ and join in. Without the help of citizen scientists (everyday people who collect data for scientific studies) ECOCEAN wouldn’t have been able to collect over 45,000 photos of whale sharks from all around the world and contribute to the protection of this threatened species. The students promised me they would have their cameras ready.

The year 8 students at St. Lukes College in Karratha get a visit from Gulliver

While we were at St. Lukes College, one of the art students painted a coral trout on the ECOCEAN trailer. Coral trouts are beautiful red and white spotted fish with a splash of electric blue found in the tropical waters of the northwest.  Not only are they amazing to look at under water, but also a favourite with the local fishers.

An art student from St. Lukes College in Karratha adds a coral trout, a local favourite, to the ECOCEAN trailer

That night we headed to Wickham for our community meeting. The original meeting was planned for the Karratha Library, but current renovations meant we had to hold the meeting at their other Library in Wickham. I didn’t realize Wickham was a 40 minute drive from Karratha and a completely separate town, built largely by mining giant RIO TINTO. We still had a good cross-section of community members attend our meeting and as Wickham is close to Point Sampson, it meant we even had locals from this town as well.

Through our community meeting and from interviewing people throughout our stay in Karratha, we recorded 6 previous whale shark sightings off the coast! A couple of these were from RIO TINTO employees who spend time on the water through their jobs. They suggested we contact the marine fauna observers who are contracted to RIO as well as talking to helicopter pilots in the area. Some great suggestions and a good example of how industry and community can work together towards the protection of a species.

The previous whale shark sightings off Karratha have all been in the past three years around the Dampier Archipelago, made up of over 40 pristine islands. Very interestingly though, the sightings have ranged from April to November. Could Karratha be important to the world’s biggest fish? Evidence suggests that it may well be!

 

 

You gotta love those days that are ‘Lifers’

When Kylie and I looked at the road map for places to hang out for the weekend between Carnavon and Karratha, we finally settled on Coral Bay, (although it was only after Kylie let go of her dream – for now – to surf The Bluff and Gnaraloo).

Coral Bay is situated at the southern end of the spectacular Ningaloo Reef, which extends 260kms north towards Exmouth. It is a much smaller settlement than Exmouth with a resident population of under 200 people. In 1915, the town was officially named ‘Maud’s Landing’ after the first Europeans to visit the area; crew of the schooner Maud that landed in 1884. The town played a pivotal role in the development of the NW of WA acting as a supply depot for ingoing and outgoing goods. In 1968, formal settlement began with the establishment of a hotel, caravan park and service station. The hotel was named the Coral Bay Hotel in reference to the beautiful coral reef in the bay area. Subsequently the settlement became known as Coral Bay. And not much has changed in Coral Bay since then – thank goodness! It remains an idyllic place to get away from it all where sandy feet are the most common footwear and it still only has one street! Every business has the same address – Robinson Street.

Arguably the main reason that the Ningaloo Coast receives more than 15,000 tourists a year is because of its most famous visitor and biggest fish in the sea, the whale shark. For most ocean lovers, the chance to swim with these gentle giants tops the bucket list. We are lucky enough in Western Australia to have this opportunity on our doorstep. The Ningaloo Reef is one of the best and most accessible places in the world to see whale sharks as they migrate to the reef every year after the mass coral spawning in March and April.

There are various whale shark tours available between April and July from Exmouth or Coral Bay, but each offer a similar experience. $390 will get you a day out on a boat with 20 fellow eager tourists and crew members, and allow you access to the outer Ningaloo Reef where you can see animals you may not have seen on the inner reef such as majestic manta rays or dolphins. Spotter planes will alert your skipper when a whale shark is in the area and you will be told to ‘get ready to jump in!’ accompanied by your very own dive guide. There is nothing quite like being in the water with these enormous creatures who can get up to 18m and weigh over 20 tonnes! If you don’t spot a whale shark on your first day out, you will get to go back again the next day for free.

So what better thing to do together than swim with the world’s biggest fish?! The last time Kylie and I were in the water with a big fish, things didn’t go so well. We knew it was going to be a special and memorable day, those once in a blue moon days when you do something you haven’t done before – a ‘Lifer’.

It was a special day – the K and K team were back together in the deep blue!

The day out on the reef was everything we had hoped for. Kylie got to see her first whale shark! We actually got to swim with two different whale sharks, both about 5-6m long. Even though I have swum with them quite a few times before, it still blows me away every time I see them in water. We also saw a manta ray swimming on its back, a pod of dolphins, two white-tipped reef sharks, four Hawksbill turtles, loads of fish and even a dugong. The visibility in the water was amazing, as was the temperature (about 28C at the moment). We were both the last ones back on the boat and would have stayed out there if we could. It was definitely a special day, particularly to be in the deep blue again together.

Swimming with the biggest fish in the sea! Kylie’s first whale shark 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Bananas, Indigenous art and the best Cultural Centre I’ve ever seen

When I was starting to eat solid foods as a baby, Mum said the only thing I wanted was banana. To this day, it is one of my favourite foods.  So I was a little excited that we were heading towards the banana capital of WA: Carnavon. The country around us is definitely changing and starting to feel like ‘up north’. The dirt is getting redder, there are more shrubs than trees and I’ve seen some birds that are only found in this part of the world. We had entered the Gascoyne region of WA.

Kim heaven!

Kylie and I checked into a cabin at the Coral Coast Caravan Park (we decided that after a few nights camping, we needed a break from the heat!). I have to say, Kylie is the best roadie ever! Not only does she have the trailer re-packed before I even get up, she makes the best ‘Kylie surprises’ in the kitchen. After buying some local bananas, Kylie got to work on her Carnavon banana surprise. Sometimes she gets it spot on…and sometimes not quite so spot on. Sorry Kyles, this time it wasn’t quite on the money!

The next day we took Gulliver to meet the students at St. Marys Star of the Sea, a pretty relevant name for ECOCEAN seeing as the computer program that we use for our whale shark photo-id is the same one that NASA uses to map stars! The science teacher, Helen Dixon, had asked me if we would like to join in a beach clean up of Carnavon town beach in the morning. I thought this was a brilliant idea and a way we could talk to the kids about why healthy oceans were important.

Kylie and students from St. Marys Star of the Sea school showing the rubbish they picked up from Carnavon town beach

Kylie and I left the trailer with some of the art students and one of the Indigenous teachers, Bonnie. She said she had a design in mind that would incorporate marine turtles with some Indigenous art – we were stoked as the trailer was yet to see any from our travels so far.

We took the opportunity while the students were painting to head into town and survey locals about previous whale shark sightings off Carnavon. Quite a few had seen them around Bernier and Dorre Islands, an island reserve 40kms west off the Carnavon coast. These islands are in between the Shark Bay World Heritage Area and Ningaloo (both places where we know whale sharks aggregate), so most likely an important place on their migration route.

The ECOCEAN trailer gets a touch of Indigenous artwork from Bonnie and the kids at St. Marys Star of the Sea

Back to school and it was time to do presentations to the students. I often get asked by the kids ‘How can we help the whale shark?’ which is one of my favourite questions and warms my heart to think that they have taken on board what I have been saying about this threatened species. ECOCEAN actually has an adoption program where an individual, family or business can adopt a specific whale shark for a year. The money raised through this program goes straight back into our research for the whale shark. Once the kids know this, I hear them asking their teachers if their class could adopt a whale shark. Makes me smile that the new generation of marine conservationists want to try and help from their classrooms.

That night we held our community meeting at the ‘Gwoonwardu Mia’ Gascoyne Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre, definitely the best cultural centre I’ve ever seen! It is designed in the shape of a cyclone and apparently this is what it looks like from a birds eye view. Kylie and I had a quick look around before we set up. Their displays and artwork are fantastic! Gwoonwardu Mia brings people from the five Aboriginal language groups of the Gascoyne region together to showcase their heritage, history, art and culture.

The ‘Gwoonwardu Mia’ Gascoyne Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre in Carnavon is shaped like a cyclone from a birds eye view!

We recorded another previous whale shark sighting off the Carnavon coast from one of the locals during the community meeting. Looks like we have found another important site for whale sharks!

I managed to get in some swimming training at the Carnavon pool. Kylie and I even had the whole thing to ourselves.

 

Could Shark Bay be another significant site for whale sharks?

Kylie and I spent the day in Denham, the small town that supports the Shark Bay region. We spent the morning at the one school in town that has only 120 students in total from pre-primary to year 12. Of course Gulliver came along for the ride too. The pre-primary students asked the usual question about whether or not whale sharks could eat us. When I told them that whale sharks aren’t designed to eat humans, but tiny krill like animals known as plankton, they asked if ‘whale sharks were vegetarian’? I love how kids minds work!

Kylie and a Dugong at the Shark Bay School (Gulliver is in the background)

In the afternoon, we spoke to as many locals as possible including fishermen, charter boat operators and DEC staff. All of them had stories of previous whale shark sightings off Dirk Hartog Island, Steep Point and Zuytdorp Point, all located on the western peninsula of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. Most of the sightings were from the period between January and March over the last five years. DEC had one story of 30 whale sharks feeding together one evening when they were carrying out a search and rescue mission. It seems that this area is a very significant site for whale sharks and could even be were they migrate to after being at Ningaloo?

Gulliver outside the Shark Bay World Heritage Centre promoting the fact that ECOCEAN is in town and holding a community meeting for anyone who has seen whale sharks in the area 

That night we held our community meeting in Denham in conjunction with the DEC. We met a range of community members, some who had been there for 20 years (apparently you aren’t a local until you have 20 years under your belt in Denham!), so could tell us what they had seen over time. One of the local charter boat operators, Greg Ridgeley, told us that he had seen a whale shark in 1997 in front of the Pearl Farm in Monkey Mia about 500m out. It appears that the entire Shark Bay World Heritage Area is not only important for dugongs and dolphins, but also whale sharks.

Living fossils, Eagle Bluff and the infamous Monkey Mia Dolphins

I was lucky enough to see David Attenborough when he came to Perth last year. When someone from the audience asked him what his favourite place in Australia was, he said the ‘Stromatolites’ at Hamelin Pool because it never ceased to amaze him that we have the opportunity to see the oldest life forms on earth right in front of us. After a couple of hours on the North West Coastal Highway, we turned into the Shark Bay World Heritage Area and headed to Hamelin Pool.

Entering the Shark Bay World Heritage Area

We walked around the boardwalk that extends a short way into the water to view all the different shaped Stromatolites, which are layered limestone rock built by single-celled bacteria. Stromatolites have been around for 3.5 billion years and without them, we may not be here. They were the first structures built by life forms that produced oxygen, and so they led the way for the development of all plant and animal life. Hats off! Sir David was right, very impressive!

Kylie with the Stromatolites at Hamelin Bay, the oldest life forms on Earth!

Our second stop, Eagle Bluff, was just as impressive. Steep cliffs hundreds of metres high look down into shallow turquoise water. From the top of the cliffs, you can see fish, stingrays, sharks, turtles and even dugongs in the lighter coloured water. The darker coloured water a couple of hundred metres out indicates the start of the seagrass beds. Shark Bay has the largest seagrass banks in the world – 400,000 hectares  (about the same as the Perth metropolitan area!) and is one of the reasons for the area’s World Heritage listing. These massive seagrass banks are food for the word’s largest and most stable population of dugongs.

We were lucky enough to see a huge group of stingrays and a couple of sharks, but no dugongs. We would have loved to sit there all afternoon, but we had to beat the setting sun in order to set up our tent in the campground at Monkey Mia.

Emus are a common sight at the Monkey Mia campground – the first place we have set up camp on the ECOCEAN Road Trip

Kylie and I have been very lucky with people offering us accommodation along the way, but we were both a little excited to be camping for the first time on the Road Trip. The weather was perfect and the campground at Monkey Mia is located in an idyllic bay right behind the area where the infamous Monkey Mia Dolphins visit every morning, something they have been doing since the 1960’s. When tourists first started coming to Monkey Mia to see the dolphins, they could purchase buckets of fish to feed them. Today, the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) works alongside researchers to ensure that our interaction with them has little impact. DEC provide an informative talk and the opportunity for tourists to help feed the female dolphins a small amount of their required daily intake of fish every morning. There are currently three families of dolphins that visit the bay and some have been doing this their whole lives.

Waves, flies and Nature’s Window

Kalbarri is situated on a spectacular piece of coastline and if you love your water sports, there is plenty to do. We spent the weekend snorkeling at Blue Holes, a fish protection zone just south of town and Kylie managed to surf everyday at ‘The Point’ (Thanks Trent!). Kalbarri doesn’t have a swimming pool, but it is situated at the mouth of The Murchison River. I managed to get some swimming training in at a sheltered part of the river between two of the town jettys. Only 4 weeks to go until the big race!

The stunning Red Bluff at sunset

Not only does Kalbarri have lots to do on and around the water, the town is boarded to the east by The Kalbarri National Park. Here the Murchison River winds its way through rugged river gorges and spectacular scenery. Trent took us on a tour of the National Park which included a visit to the Z-Bend and of course the infamous Nature’s Window.  The last time I visited the Z-bend was when it was in flood and we were able to jump in at one end, take a ride down with the water flow, then get out and do it all again. This time there was hardly any water in the gorge and Trent said it was the lowest he had seen it for awhile. Kylie was blown away by the scenery and said she didn’t expect to see this kind of gorge country so far south in WA. Kylie is not, however, very impressed with the flies in WA! and seems to think they are out to get her, and her alone!

We had to do the tourist thing and take the classic photo at Nature’s Window in The Kalbarri National Park

We packed up the ECOCEAN trailer, re-organised again by Kylie and headed north. Even though it was hard to say goodbye to Kalbarri and Trent, it was even harder to say goodbye to Trent’s dog, Nahla! She is a beautiful short-haired Border Collie and definitely thinks she is a human. Even though we wanted to take her with us, we wouldn’t have been able to take her into the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. And I think Trent would have missed her too much! See ya Trent and Nahla! Thanks for all your support.

Nahla, the most beautiful dog in WA! and Trent surfing in the background.

Kalbarri – you’ll love it!

Kylie and I left Geraldton and took the North West Coastal Highway to Kalbarri, a short 1 ½- 2 hour drive. The welcome sign just out of town says it all  – Kalbarri, you’ll love it! As we arrived into town the sun was setting over Red Bluff. The colours of the red cliffs against the turquoise ocean were stunning! We were both in love with Kalbarri already.

So true Kalbarri!

One of the local school teachers, Trent Sherborne, had offered to have us at his house during our time in Kalbarri, so after a quick appreciation stop at Red Bluff we went to find him. Trent was involved in the ECOCEAN/Earthwatch program in 2009 where he spent 2 weeks at Exmouth volunteering with Brad and ‘teaching live’ back to his students. He has been keeping an eye on whale shark sightings off Kalbarri for ECOCEAN ever since. Trent has also helped promote our visit to town and organized our school visit – an all round legend really!

Gulliver, Kylie and I spent the day at Kalbarri District High School – the only school in town.  I spoke to the Primary school first. The kids had plenty of questions for me such as ‘Can whale sharks get sunburnt?’ (Good question!) and ‘What predators do whale sharks have?’ When I asked them what they thought predated on whale sharks, one boy put his hand up and said ‘Humans?’. Unfortunately, he is right. Whale sharks are still hunted for their fins in several countries (including China), then exported primarily to the east Asian market for shark fin soup. Sadly, I had to tell the kids he was correct. They couldn’t believe that people would want to hurt such a beautiful creature. We can only hope that one day, this isn’t the case and that other countries take a leaf out of Australia’s book and use our eco-tourism industry as a model.

The junior school kids from Kalbarri District High School get a visit from Gulliver
‘Do whale sharks get sunburnt?’

The Senior School was next. Many of the students had been to Ningaloo and swum with whale sharks, so knew quite a lot about them already. A couple of students told me they had heard of previous whale shark sightings off Kalbarri – great news! While I was with the Senior School students, Kylie was with some of the art students painting the ECOCEAN trailer. Their addition to the trailer is an intricate collage of Kalbarri landscapes inside the segmented body of a crayfish. Very impressive and relevant to the area! Catching crayfish (and all other fish for that matter!) is a favourite pastime for Kalbarri locals and tourists who visit this coastal paradise.

Kalbarri District High School art students add their town’s favourite animal – the Western Rock Lobster to the ECOCEAN trailer.

The Kalbarri community meeting was also held at the school. Trent had been tuning the locals for months before our visit, so we had a good cross section of local business owners and fishermen attend the meeting. Thanks to Trent’s data collection and some of the other locals at the meeting, we recorded 10 previous whale shark sightings off Kalbarri in the past two years! Very interestingly, they were all recorded between the months of December and April. Maybe this is where the Ningaloo Sharks hang out over summer?

We recorded 10 whale shark sightings from Kalbarri locals in the past two years! Thanks Trent!