Marine Center Director: “Never seen anything like this”; 10 whale sharks only 23 miles southwest of Sarasota

World’s largest fish heads toward Southwest Florida coast to flee from oil

MOTE concerned oil spill is affecting shark patterns, Tampa Bay News 9, June 19, 2010:

On Friday, ten whale sharks gathered about 23 miles offshore southwest of Sarasota.

MOTE said it’s unusual and is concerned that large fish such as whale sharks might be changing their ranging patterns because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

“People who have lived here 30 years have never seen anything like this. Usually whale sharks come to our waters transiently in ones and twos. This time we had 10 and we stayed with them for four hours,” said Dr. Robert Hueter, Director of Mote’s Center for Shark Research, who led a team to tag the sharks.

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