Whale Sharks are primarily pelagic animals, spending the most of their life in the open ocean. Coiba National Park and also other islands and sea mounts in the Gulf of Chiriqui are visited in seasonal feeding aggregations, where these migratory biggest fish of the world can be spotted frequently and sometimes in numbers.
The reason is, that they are feeding close to, or even on the surface, when their favorite food is around. Beside plankton they feed on schools of small fish and eggs and sperm resulting from spawning activities of schooling fish they find in the water columns close to the surface around certain rocks and sea mounts. Coiba being one of the most important reproduction sites for snappers and other schooling fish therefore is a favorite feeding ground from them.
There are certain times of the year where fish spawning around Full and New Moons attract them to dive sites. There is a “small” whale shark season from September to November and the “hot” Whale Shark season now after December Full Moon for approximately a month. In the last 3 days of the year we spotted 7 whale sharks, one time 3 together.