Endangered whale shark caught on camera swimming 6 miles off Texas coast

Whale sharks are world’s largest species of shark

PORT ARANSAS, Texas – A Texas man has a pretty impressive fish story after spotting the world’s largest species of shark off the coast earlier this month.

Addison Smith and his friend Alexus Broome were roughly six miles off the Port Aransas shore on Aug. 13 when they spotted something in the water.

“We were drifting from one of the rigs and all of a sudden I saw this big black shadow and didn’t take me but a few seconds to realize it was a whale shark,” Smith told KSAT. “So I started yelling ‘whale shark, whale shark’ to Alexus.”

Smith said Broome started filming from the boat before he grabbed his GoPro and stuck it underwater.

“We saw it maybe 45 seconds before it went deeper and swam off,” said Smith.

You can watch the videos in the media player at the top of this article.

Whale sharks, which are listed as an endangered species, arrive in the Gulf each summer and have previously been spotted near the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary located roughly 100 miles off the coast of Galveston.

The sharks can grow up to 40 feet in length and scientists believe they can live to be 60-100 years old, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

If you’re lucky enough to see a whale shark in person in the northern Gulf of Mexico — you can report the sighting to the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory at the University of Southern Mississippi.

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