The three sharks did not appear distressed and their white-spotted hides were not visibly oiled, said Steve Gittings of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who saw them on a flight Monday to locate oiled sea turtles for rescuers in boats.
"Don't get the picture that these looked like those pelicans you see photographs of," he said.
But oil can clog their gills and suffocate them as they swim at the surface, and they will swallow oil if they feed in it, said John Carlson, fisheries biologist in NOAA's wildlife section.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Threatened Whale Sharks Seen in Gulf Oil Spill
Whale sharks swimming in between oil slicks in gulf.