These Whale Sharks Feasting on Fishermen’s Catch Are All of Us at the Buffet

Many of the ocean’s clever creatures have learned that where there are fishing boats, there’s bound to be a free meal. For some fish, this might mean just sneaking a fish or two off the edge of the net. But for whale sharks?

Whale sharks are looking at an all-you-can-eat buffet.


Geez, talk about inhaling your food! The fishermen had better hurry up, because that net isn’t going to have fish in it for long.

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It’s hard to know whether the better comparison is to Kirby from Nintendo …


… or Patrick from SpongeBob.


This whale shark was filmed in Cenderawasih Bay in Indonesia. According to local fishermen, the sharks have learned how to suck the fish out of holes in the nets.


Whale sharks can open their mouths up to 5 feet wide; so once they find a hole, the fish start flying out of there in no time.

The nets do pose a danger to the whale sharks, although not as a choking hazard, as this video might make you think — the greater danger is from getting tangled in the nets or trapped as bycatch.

But the local fishermen consider the whale sharks a sign of good luck, and they are working on changing the design of their nets to make them whale-proof.

Watch the full video below.

Whale shark sucks fish out of hole in fishing net | Shark Week – Conservation International (CI)

On a recent expedition to Indonesia’s Cendrawasih Bay, Conservation International’s Mark Erdmann learned how whale sharks often congregate around bagan (lift net) fishing platforms to eat the small silverside baitfish that the fishers are targeting. The sharks have also learned how to “suck” the fish out of holes in the nets!