Whale Shark Research

Recovery Plan

Draft whale shark (Rhincodon typus) recovery plan 2004-2009
Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2004

About the draft recovery plan

The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the world's largest fish, and one of only 3 filter-feeding shark species. Whale sharks have a broad distribution in tropical and warm temperate seas. In Australian waters, they are known to aggregate at Ningaloo Reef and in the Coral Sea. The whale shark is a highly migratory fish and only visits Australian waters seasonally. The whale shark was listed as vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) in 2001. 

The objective of the recovery plan is to maintain existing levels of protection for the whale shark in Australia while working to increase the level of protection afforded to the whale shark within the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian region to enable population growth so that the species can be removed from the threatened species list of the EPBC Act. 

The Issues Paper provides detailed background information on the biology, population status and threats to the whale shark. 

This draft recovery plan will be available for public comment for a period of three months. At the end of this period the plans will be revised, taking into consideration any comments received. 

A hard copy of the draft plan may be obtained from the Community Information Unit, ciu@deh.gov.au or by phoning 1800 803 772. 

Comments must be received by close of business Friday, 12 November 2004 and sent to: 

Director, Migratory and Marine Species Section
Department of the Environment and Heritage
GPO Box 787

Email: recoveryplans@deh.gov.au
Fax: (02) 6274 1332

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