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Biggest Fish In The Sea Was Spotted Swimming Near The Texas Coastline

The fish species is considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

A whale shark, the largest fish in the world, recently made a rare appearance near the Texas Gulf Coast. Alexus Jade was cruising the waters near Port Aransas with her friend Addison Smith, founder of Gulf Magic Charters, when they came across the gargantuan sea creature about six miles offshore near the state rigs around 4 p.m. on Sunday. “I have never seen a whale shark offshore in Port Aransas,” Jade said. “What makes this is a big deal is that the water is not very deep around there and whale sharks are pretty large. It is rare to see them that close to the shore.”

While whale sharks can be found in the Gulf, Jade noted other offshore fishing charters that have fished out of Port Aransas for years have never gotten the chance to see one. She posted close-up footage of the whale shark on TikTok, which has garnered more than 54,000 views. In the clip, the whale shark is shown from above until Smith dives into the water to get a closer look.

“The whale’s behavior was very calm,” Jade said. “You can it just cruising around the water with other sea life swimming around it. It was just swimming around until it finally dove back down.” Many who saw the video questioned why Jade did not get closer to the whale shark. “The simple answer to that is we didn’t want to disturb its peace,”she said.

Whale sharks are not actually whales, but the world’s largest fish species. The giant fish can reach up to 46 feet in length and weigh as much as 24,000 pounds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). They have broad, flat heads with short snouts and their backs have a white, yellow, and grey checkerboard pattern. They are also known to grow to a very old age, with some scientists estimating they can live approximately 60-100 years.

The slow-moving, filter feeders are found in all tropical and warm-temperate seas around the world, including the northern Gulf of Mexico during summer and fall months. They are considered endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which previously reported that its population has more than halved over the last 75 years due to threats like vessel strikes and targeted fisheries. Whale sharks have also recently been sighted near Florida.

The whale shark isn’t the only rare species that has recently been found swimming near Texas. Last month, a highly endangered Rice’s whale was filmed swimming 100 miles south of Galveston. The species of baleen whale is one of the most endangered in the world, with less than 100 individuals remaining throughout the Gulf of Mexico.


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