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PADI Whale Shark Awareness Specialty Course

The purpose of the PADI Whale Shark Awareness Diver Specialty Course is to introduce divers and snorkelers to the world's largest fish and familiarise divers with the proper techniques for recreational diving whilst encountering Whale Sharks with minimal impact on the sharks' habitat and behaviour.

The PADI Whale Shark Awareness Course aims to teach you about the biology, behavior and global distribution of Whale Sharks as well as conservation status and Whale Shark research worldwide. There is mounting evidence to suggest that the population of the world's largest fish the Whale Shark is dwindling in numbers and that it may be being seriously overfished.

Whale Shark

Killed partly for it's meat and skin, it is mainly slaughtered for its fins which are used to make shark fin soup a highly prized and expensive delicacy in many Far Eastern countries. In order to obtain global protection for the Whale Shark and to be able to monitor its numbers, more information is needed about the number and range of the current population. It is important to establish if the Whale Shark is consists of a single, interbreeding population or numerous, reproductively isolated populations.

What You Learn

Divers will learn how to plan all aspects of a dive with Whale Sharks, paying special attention to non-impact diving practices. The importance of Whale Shark monitoring activities will be stressed and the Whale Shark Photo ID website introduced as an example of how to get involved in Whale Shark conservation. Researchers will attempt to match any photos submitted to other snaps of the same shark in the International Whale Shark database, perhaps telling us something new about the behaviour of the Whale Shark.

The Goals of the PADI Whale Shark Awareness Course are:

  • To introduce you to whale sharks, their biology, behaviour and distribution
  • To inform you of whale shark research and monitoring activities and conservation status worldwide
  • To provide the opportunity of participating in Whale Shark conservation (through the Whale Shark Photo ID web site)
  • To teach students how to identify individual sharks through their markings
  • To prepare students for non-invasive interactions with whale sharks
  • To dispel negative myths about sharks

Who can participate in the PADI Whale Shark Awareness Course??

Aged 10+ and have already completed the PADI Open Water Diver Course (or equivalent), in general good health and fitness and are not suffering from a cold or ear infection, you should be eligible to become a certified PADI Whale Shark Aware Diver.

In cooperation with this project we, Tropical IDC, organize Whaleshark Interaction trip which starts on Feb to April every year.

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