Whales Sharks Beached at Umzumbe Point – 28 January 2010

First light at Umzumbe Point revealed the sad sight of two whale sharks washed up on the rocks. The inshore water was very discoloured and a strong wave was breaking on the point.

Speculation is that they might have become disorientated in the dirty water whilst courting or perhaps two males jousting over a female. They inadvertently moved into the breaking zone and with the strong wave running were unable to get clear before being washed up on the point.

The only other time I have seen a beached whale shark was in Mozambique in 1994 between Tofu and Barra point. The Mozambican locals spent the whole day cutting the fish up and the thick outer layer of fat was threaded onto bamboo sticks and dried in the wind. The meat was very dark and speculation over that fish was that it might have died from old age as it was a very big specimen.

I have seen shark bites on whale sharks but it would need to be a very big shark to approach these giant fish with the intention of eating.

Whales Sharks Beached at Umzumbe Point – 28 January 2010