Whale Shark in Cenderawasih bay - Papua
Cenderawasih Park is located in Kwastisore in Nabire, Papua, the largest fish species in the sea, throughout the year in its fishing platform zone.
Visitors must heed the instructions from the guides before going to the platform where whale sharks like to appear. Apart from keeping a minimum distance of between 2 and 3 meters from the body and tail of the fish, divers are forbidden to touch or ride them.
Whale Shark can live near the coast or off shore. Whale sharks spend more of his life near the water surface. It is closely related to they food like plankton and other tiny organisms that reside on the surface. Whale Shark has a wide distribution and live in hot waters at latitudes ± 30-40 degrees (the Equator). The Whale sharks main food are castle fish and plankton .
Cenderawasih National Park is the largest marine national park of Indonesia, located in Cenderawasih Bay, south-east of Bird’s Head Peninsula. It includes the islands of Mioswaar, Nusrowi, Roon, Rumberpon and Yoop. The park protects a rich marine ecosystem, with over 150 recorded coral species, for which it is considered a potential World Heritage Site.
Divers taking pictures must not use flashes because they can disturb the whale sharks and even cause blindness. When the fish approaches, divers can swim to its side or go in reverse. A study by WWF Indonesia in the zone identified individual 135 whale sharks, the majority being males with only four females. They measure 4 to 5 meters in length on average and fall into the young-age category. Whale sharks have become a main tourist attraction for the park. In 2012, the park listed 1,764 foreign and local tourists and in 2016 it recorded 4,083 foreign and local visitors.