See Whale Sharks in Al Shaheen Oil Field, Qatar
Another new addition to the whale shark map in the Middle East is the Al Shaheen Oil Field, 90 kilometers off the coast of Qatar. The local whale sharks have long been spotted by fishermen and offshore platform workers, but it’s only recently that the abundance of these creatures and the importance of the habitat have been noted by marine experts.
During the summer months, around 150 whale sharks populate the waters. This phenomenon is particularly surprising because temperatures climb to 93 degrees Fahrenheit during this season (the hottest sea body in the world), which was previously thought to be far too warm for whale sharks.
At present, visits to the artificial reefs provided by the oil platforms are mostly for researchers, but there’s no harm in contacting Qatar Whale Shark Research Project or any other local organization to see if they need a hand with some citizen science!