A rare 10-metre long whale shark has been spotted off the Tauranga coast.
The whale shark was spotted about 11km off Mauao.
The amazing fish was spotted by the skipper of the Bay Explorer. There were 16 people on board.
The captain said the fish swam right up to the boat before going under it – that was when he got a closer look.
WHALE SHARK FACTS
Whale Shark Fact #1: Whale sharks are the largest fish on the planet.
Whale Shark Fact #2: Whale sharks are in no way related to whales. Although they are sharks, they are very docile and pose no real threats to humans.
Whale Shark Fact #3: Whale sharks can reach up to 14m (46 feet!) in length.
Whale Shark Fact #4: Whale sharks can weigh up to 11,000 kilos!!
Whale Shark Fact #5: Whale sharks are filter feeders and sieve plankton through their gills for much of their nourishment.
Whale Shark Fact #6: Whale sharks have about 3,000 tiny teeth (less than 6mm long) but they don’t use those teeth to eat.
Whale Shark Fact #7: Whale sharks aren’t the fastest swimmers, reaching speeds no higher than 5 km/h.