IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
The Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) is a cosmopolitan tropical and warm temperate species and is the world?s largest living chondrichthyan. Its life history is poorly understood, but it is known to be highly fecund and to migrate extremely large distances. Populations appear to have been depleted by harpoon fisheries in Southeast Asia and perhaps incidental capture in other fisheries. High value in international trade, a K-selected life history, highly migratory nature and normally low abundance make this species vulnerable to commercial fishing. Dive tourism involving this species has recently developed in a number of locations around the world, demonstrating that it is far more valuable alive than fished.
- 1996Data Deficient
- 1994Indeterminate(Groombridge 1994)
- 1990Indeterminate(IUCN 1990)
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