SARASOTA (FOX 13) - Scientists are thanking the public for reporting their recent encounters with whale sharks.
The Mote Marine Lab and Aquarium announced Wednesday the public's input helped its group of researchers successfully tag two whale sharks off the coast of Sarasota.
"Everybody that has called has been essentially a great scientist in their own right," said Dr. Bob Hueter, who works for Mote.
The tracking devices send back all kinds of information about the life of a whale shark.
According to scientists, the gentle giants of the sea are common in Mexico, but not as prevalent in the Bay Area, so when one is spotted, sharing information or video can be helpful for researchers.
Whale sharks are found in healthy numbers in the Gulf of Mexico, but the international science community has labeled them vulnerable.
The whale sharks that were recently tagged, now known as Colt and Minnie, will provide more insight on their journey around the Bay Area, and wherever they head next.
The tracking devices send back information when the sharks come up to the surface of the water.
The full analysis will be available in six months when the tracking devices self-release from the whale sharks' bodies.