SPECIES SPOTLIGHT | Whale Shark
Inspired by the largest fish in the ocean, our whale shark print is both sleek and majestic in design, highlighting the characteristically unique pattern of white spots and stripes against a pewter skin tone. It is thought that this gentle giant’s unique white checkerboard pigmentation could be an adaptation for ultraviolet radiation shielding (aka natural sunscreen). This natural defense is advantageous in animals that spend a significant amount of time exposed to the sun (while feeding near the surface). The whale shark is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Recent assessments have revealed significant population declines from ongoing human impacts such as commercial fishing, fishery net bycatch, and vessel strikes. In the absence of conservation action, declines are likely to continue.