This sculpture of a whale shark is 12 meters long and contains approximately 40.000 fish hooks. This artwork is being auctioned to benefit Sea Shepherd.

For more information about this sculpture, the exhibition or sales enquiries, please contact us.

The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is the largest fish on Earth, reaching a maximum reported size of 20 m. 

It has a broad distribution in all tropical and warm temperate seas, apart from the Mediterranean Sea, and forms seasonal aggregation in coastal areas where it typically feeds on zooplankton organisms. 

Reproduction is through aplacental viviparity. Only a single pregnant female has ever been examined and was found to be carrying 304 embryos.

Following an estimated decline of > 50% over the last 75 years, in 2016, whale sharks were downgraded to globally Endangered on the IUCN Red List. 

Although protected across much of their range, they are still targeted by illegal and unreported fisheries for their fins, oil and meat. Other threats include bycatch, vessel strikes, uncontrolled tourism and marine pollution.

There is an urgent need for international efforts to enhance their conservation, given crucial gaps in our knowledge of their life history and the decline in numbers observed across multiple sites. 

With thanks to AMO Scientific Partner One Ocean Foundation

References:

Boldrocchi, G., Omar, M., Azzola, A., & Bettinetti, R. (2020). The ecology of the whale shark in Djibouti. Aquat. Ecol., 1-17.

Pierce, S.J. & Norman, B. 2016. Rhincodon typus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T19488A2365291.

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