ST. PETE BEACH (FOX 13) - Whale sharks have been spotted off of the Gulf Coast within the month of June, with the most recent sighting just 20 miles from St. Pete Beach.
Patti Fielder was fishing when she saw the large, gentle creature near the surface. She used her phone to capture clear underwater video of the whale shark swimming alongside the boat.
In early June, a fisherman spotted a pod of five whale sharks about 40 miles off the coast of Anna Maria Island. Just a week later, vacationers from Georgia spotted a whale shark about 45 miles northwest of Bunce's Pass.
Researchers with Mote Marine Laboratory ask anyone who spots a whale shark to take note of the time, date and location, and then contact them at (941) 302-0976.