Biologists at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) in Ocean Springs, Mississippi are studying whale sharks in the northern Gulf of Mexico. If you encounter a whale shark, you can help the GCRL biologists learn about whale shark occurrence and distribution in the northern Gulf by participating in GCRL’s ONLINE WHALE SHARK SIGHTINGS SURVEY.

To Report a Sighting:
Please complete the survey at

Information that is helpful to us includes:

• Time and duration of encounter
• Location (GPS coordinates)
• Approximate size and number of sharks
• Observed behavior
• Associated species
• Photos/video (especially of the region behind the gill slits on the left side of the animal—this is used for identification)
• Any other distinguishing features (i.e. numbered marker tags located behind the dorsal fin—please notate number)

Your participation is greatly appreciated and vital to a better understanding of whale shark movements and habitat in the Gulf of Mexico. Thank you.

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