Meet the Expert: Chris Schreiber

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Chris Schreiber is Assistant Manager of the Georgia Aquarium's Ocean Voyager exhibit which is one of the only public aquariums to house the Whale shark – the world's largest fish.

How do you feed a captive Whale shark?

We feed our Whale sharks using ladles. This enables us to feed them as they swim through the water. Our sharks are fed at different stations which allows us to minimise interference. 

How much food do they eat?

Our Whale sharks are fed between 11 and 18 pounds of food daily. Their diet consists of two species of krill, squid, silversides and lancefish that we get from seafood suppliers around the world. 

Do you have to enrich their diet?

We do supplement their diets with Vitamins and gel food, which better allows us to provide a complete diet.  We constantly evaluate our diets for nutritional composition and reference it against data obtained from our research of Whale shark diets in the Gulf of Mexico.

How successful has the technique been?

We are pleased with this technique as it allows us to maximize the opportunity for long-term management our sharks.  Our ladle-feeding program began in Taiwan and allowed us to maintain consistency upon the sharks’ arrival in the Georgia Aquarium’s Ocean Voyager exhibit.

This item was first published in the September 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.