VIDEO | Rare whale shark spotted off Charleston coast
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) —
A whale shark made its very large presence known during a boating trip off the coast of Charleston in October.
Boater Michael Krivohlavek took a video the whale shark on Oct. 14.
Whale sharks can be between 18 to 32.8 feet long and weigh 20.6 tons.
According to Bryan Frazier, a marine biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, a whale shark is a somewhat rare sighting in South Carolina waters.
"It's much more common in tropical areas as they tend to aggregate around spawning aggregations of fish," Frazier said. "We don’t really have enough reports to know when they pass through, but they likely prefer warmer waters."
Despite its monstrous size (and the word "shark" in its name) whale sharks are not dangerous to humans, Frazier said.
"They are planktivorous (filter feeders) and feed on small fish, fish eggs and invertebrates in the water column. They are a favorite with divers as they are very docile and approachable," Frazier said.