Once upon a time, a big fish liked to swim through the great sea! When he moved around, many other sea animals were afraid of him; they ran from one side to another running away from the big fish. They did not know that despite being very big, that fish was veeeeeeery nice. (Audience: Rise up your thumb and say ‘veeeeeeery nice’.) The big fish was the friendly whale-shark!
One morning, the whale-shark was hungry and decided to look for plankton, his food. Unfortunately, he got stuck by a rope left by fishermen. The shark was very sad because he could not release the rope and could not swim comfortably anymore. He tried to get rid of the rope, but he failed. (Audience: Try to release yourself from a rope with all your strength.) The whale-shark stayed with the rope attached to him for many months, and it began to hurt him.
Even though it was hard to swim, the whale shark decided to make a loooong trip in search for more food. He ended up arriving at a place with warm water full of plankton for him. When he came to this place, he had a great surprise!!! (Audience: Say ‘woooow!’ like someone who is surprised) A group of divers were watching the fish in the ocean and taking pictures. When the shark saw the divers, he was amazed! And he asked himself “Who are these strange animals?!”
The divers saw the rope wrapped around the whale-shark. They decided to cut it and free the whale-shark. They were sad because the rope had badly hurt the shark, but also happy because he swam away free! (Audience: Imitate the whale shark swimming fast. Shake your hand to the left and right, quickly.)
Do you want to know which side of the ocean the whale-shark went? Tofo!!! And the divers who pulled the rope are from Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF). There were still many surprises for the big fish. He found out that in addition to good waters that are in Tofo, there were also many other whale-sharks. He was so happy! But the surprises did not stop there: there was a lot of food for all sharks.
The whale-shark decided to stay near Tofo beach, as he saw that he would be very happy with many new friends, with lots of foods, good water and the MMF team that protects and conserves the animals that live in the sea. You can also help the whale-sharks. Learn now how to help:
- Remind fishermen not to fish whale shark;
- Remind fishermen not to leave fishing nets and ropes in the water;
- Do not dirty the sea with rubbish like plastic, bottles etc.
Razaque Quive works as a Conservator and Marine Biology Educator for the Marine Megafauna Foundation at Tofo, Mozambique. Razaque wrote the story originally in Portuguese as a way of educating students about marine life close to their homes. The story in Portuguese is published on this site with the name O Tubarão de Sorte.