Whale-shark survey for East Timor

Australian researchers have completed an aerial survey of the ocean surrounding East Timor looking for whale-sharks.

The huge marine species may become a tourist draw card for the fledgling nation.

Ray Chatto from Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife says he spotted a four-to-five metre long whale shark, and more are expected to migrate to the region in coming months.

“The whale sharks, according to the locals over there we’ve been talking to, don’t really arrive in any sort of numbers until August, September, October so really until we can assess those numbers and where those numbers are in relation to places that are accessible for tourists we’ll have to wait and see,” Mr Chatto said.