Where Do Whale Sharks Live | Distribution and Habitat

The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a filter feeding shark and it has a cosmopolitan distribution in the tropical and warm temperate waters. It is known to live in the open seas usually avoiding the great depths of water. The whale shark feeds on the coastal sites of the eastern and southern parts of South Africa. Do you want to know more about where do whale sharks live, their distribution and habitat, then keep on reading.

Whale sharks have a fairly long lifespan but they have a slow growth. They attain maturity at a very later stage of their life.

Where Do Whale Sharks Live

Whale Shark Distribution

The whale shark is distributed globally in the southern and eastern half of South Africa; occurring mostly in the Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia, Gulf of Tadjoura in Dijbouti, Saint Helena Island in South Atlantic Ocean, Gujarat in India, Southern Lyte, Off Isla Mujeres, Bahía de los Ángeles in Baja California, and Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia.

In Australia, whale sharks typically occur in the Queensland and Western Australia; but an isolated population is also found in the southern states of the country. It is often seen in the Osprey Reef and the Great Barrier Reef

It is also found in the Tanzanian islands of Mafia, Dimaniyat Islands in the Gulf of Oman, Indonesia, Jordan, Israel, and the Arabian Sea.

Whale sharks do not live in the Mediterranean Sea.

where do whale sharks live
Whale Shark. Photo Credit: ocean.si.edu

Whale Shark Habitat

Whale sharks are known to occupy the pelagic and coastal environments.

The whale shark is migratory and is able to dive at a depth of 1,286 m (4,219 ft).

One of the largest concentrations of whale sharks is sighted off the Yucatan Coast. These large gatherings are recorded mostly in between May and September.

Whale sharks makes their habitats on Yemeni reefs or on the Sinai reefs of Egypt.

They spend much of their day time at the surface.

The water temperature must be below 71 °F (22 °C) for whale sharks to make habitats.

Learn more: Whale Shark Facts For Kids


  1. this was very helpful yes but i did see a sentence there you called them an it they arnt its they are beautiful creatures that should not be addressed as its thank you!

  2. i appreciate the beautiful pics of the whale sharks i wish there were more videos xoxoxoxoxoxoxox. i am 10 yrs old i love whale sharks.

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