It might surprise you to learn that nuclear bomb tests during the Cold War are now helping conserve whale sharks, the largest living fish.
Growing up to 18 metres – longer than the average bus – whale sharks live in all tropical oceans. In Australia, they are found off tropical coasts in the north, particularly in Western Australia.
Whale sharks face a number of threats. Globally they are listed as endangered, and their numbers continue to decline.
Until recently, key information about the life history of whale sharks was missing, which prevented informed choices about how they were managed. In particular, scientists were not able to accurately assess their age and growth patterns. MORE
Header image: Until now, it’s been difficult to assess the age of whale sharks. Credit: Wayne Osborn.