The National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium of Taiwan housed a whale shark in a 3.7 million liter indoor oval tank from June 2005 until July 2013, at which point it was released. This study reports the transport of the whale shark into and out of the Museum, its husbandry conditions, feeding regime, growth during captivity, and details on the release of the animal. During the eight years in captivity, the animal grew from 2.3 to 7.8 m in length and from 200 to 3,600 kg in weight when released, with estimated overall growth rates of 0.67 m yr-1 and 412 kg yr-1 in length and mass, respectively. The animal beached shortly after release, possibly due to having acclimated to life in captivity. Therefore, detailed behavioral knowledge is needed for future releases of animals that have been maintained in captivity for extended periods.
Leu, Ming-Yih; Li, Jan-Jung; Ju, Yu-Min; Hsiao, Cher-Ming; Chang, Chih-Wei; Meng, Pei-Jie; Tew, Kwee Siong; and Wang, Wei-Hsien
"TRANSPORTATION, HUSBANDARY, AND RELEASE OF A WHALE SHARK (RHINCODON TYPUS),"
Journal of Marine Science and Technology: Vol. 23
, Article 26.
Available at: https://jmstt.ntou.edu.tw/journal/vol23/iss5/26