Are you ready to swim with whale sharks in Oman?

They are huge, magnificent, beautifully coloured fish that are far from the ravenous predators like those they share their name with, they are filtered fish that feed on the tiniest creatures in the ocean. Reaching lengths of over 40 feet, their size is the only thing that makes them a little intimidating. Although the largest fish in the sea, these gentle giants are docile and harmless preferring warm waters. They populate all tropical seas migrating to warmer waters when temperatures fall. Although they carry the name “shark”, Whale Sharks are only fishes and acquire the name shark purely due to their giant size.
A whale sharks main diet consists of plankton, small fish, and crustaceans. Gulping in water, they push the now clean water out through their lungs keeping the small creatures trapped in their mouths. These giants can filter up to 1,500 gallons of water every hour.
Whale sharks are not only fascinating creatures but a visual treat as well. They have a beautiful colouration pattern, bluish-gray to a brown back and a white underside. If you look closely, a light vertical and horizontal striping is also visible on their sides and back and covered in cream of white spots. It is very simple to distinguish one from the other as, like fingerprints, each fish has their very own unique pattern of stripes and spots. The whale shark is a live-bearing fish much like the much smaller guppy, giving birth to multiple litters at a time. Each baby whale shark is approximately 2 feet at birth.
A fascinating fact about these fish is that they have no solid bones. A Whale shark’s skeleton is made entirely of cartilage, a flexible but tough tissue making it impossible to find historical evidence about these fish as their teeth are the only part of their skeleton that can fossilize.
In Oman, September to November is the annual whale shark season where these fish and their pups migrate south to the warmer waters of the southern hemisphere. During this period, there is a high chance of spotting these glorious giants as they make their way to the Damaniyat Island. The Island is a restricted and protected marine natural reserve that is home to stretches of unspoiled reefs and an unimaginable array of Oman’s diverse marine life. The clear waters offer 20 to 30 meters’ deep visibility.
As one of the wonders of the world, it is only a marine enthusiast dream to one day see and swim with these wonderful creatures. A dream for many come true, the opportunity to swim with these gentle giants is now a reality thanks to an exciting SEAOMAN program.
Tony Hurst, SEAOMAN’s Head of Commercial Operations has quoted that ““Whale sharks are one of the most awe-inspiring sights in the ocean, and the conditions around the coast of Oman make it the perfect place to see them.”
SEAOMAN, the marine leisure part of Oman Sail that provides tourists and locals an opportunity to get on, in and under the water in various parts in the Sultanate. In order to educate and teach people in Oman about these rare and beautiful creatures, they are offering those in Oman an opportunity to swim with these wonderful creatures alongside the world freediving record holder and environmental educator, Pierre Frolla.
Frolla currently holds four world and other championship records in freediving, a Sport that doesn’t use artificial aids to dive into the depths of the oceans. His 2004 world record saw him dive to an incredible 123 meters. He will be sharing his vast knowledge and skills along with conducting free diving workshops to introduce newcomers to the underwater experience.
For the adventurers who are interested in swimming with these marvelous creatures check out SEAOMAN’s facebook page or their website for more information and to get involved with this unique fantastic experience.