Publications

Does bathymetry drive coastal whale shark (Rhincodon typus) aggregations?

Author(s): Joshua P. Copping, Bryce D. Stewart, Colin J. McClean, James Hancock and Richard Rees
Copping JP, Stewart BD, McClean CJ, Hancock J, Rees R. (2018) Does bathymetry drive coastal whale shark (Rhincodon typus) aggregations? PeerJ 6:e4904
Keywords: Whale Shark, Rhincodon typus, bathymetry, aggregation,

(This is a peer reviewed publication in the open access journal PeerJ. Written in collaboration with MWSRP and University of York.) Background The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is known to aggregate in a number of coastal locations globally, however what causes these aggregations to form where they do is largely unknown. This study examines whether […]

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Assessing the environmental and biological variables that make South Ari Atoll Marine Protected Area (SAMPA) a world renowned whale shark aggregation site

Author(s): Tamlin Jefferson
Thesis, University of York
Keywords: Whale Shark, Rhincondon typus, Maldives Archipelago, Site Fidelity, Environmental Variables

“Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) typically aggregate in response to seasonal increases in prey abundance, with phytoplankton blooms as well as fish and coral spawning events attracting large numbers of sharks. However, the whale sharks of South Ari Atoll Marine Protected Area (SAMPA) show extraordinary site fidelity, with a predictable year round population and no seasonal […]

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The influence of environmental and anthropogenic variables on whale shark (Rhincodon typus) abundance in the South Ari Atoll

Author(s): Sophie Gibson
Dissertation, University of Plymouth
Keywords: Whale Shark, Rhincondon typus, Maldives Archipelago, seasonality, abundance

“Rhincodon typus is a large filter feeding elasmobranch that aggregates in shallow coastal waters such as the South Ari atoll Marine Protected Area (S.A. MPA) in the Maldives. They are known to travel large distances, however little is known about what causes these movements throughout the oceans and into aggregation sites. This study aims to […]

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Monitoring Tourist Pressure on Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) Behaviour in South Ari MPA, Maldives

Author(s): Alberto Lei Leston
Masters Thesis, University of Edinburgh
Keywords: Whale Shark, Rhincondon typus, Maldives Archipelago, Tourism, MPA, Code of Conduct, Impact

By video analyzing each whale shark encounter in South Ari and recording tourist and whale shark behaviour underwater, results suggest a low tourist compliance to regulations. The results obtained and the different management measures recommended, have the potential to improve our understanding of whale shark ecology and the management in South Ari MPA.

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Finding the Balance Between Tourism and Conservation: The Pathway to Safe and Sustainable Whale Shark Tourism in South Ari atoll

Author(s): Elisabeth Maria Mulder
Masters Thesis, University of Edinburgh
Keywords: Whale Shark, Rhincodon typus, Maldives, Sustainability, Tourism

Globally, the marine wildlife tourism industry has been growing exponentially over the past years, raising concerns regarding its sustainability. This research has found that a larger effort for cross-stakeholder communication, collaboration and education does have the potential to make whale shark tours a more enjoyable experience for both tourists and whale sharks.

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Does Bathymetry Drive Whale Shark Aggregations?

Author(s): Joshua Copping
Masters Thesis, University of York
Keywords: Whale Shark, Rhincodon typus, Aggregations, Bathymetry, Driver

This study examines the bathymetry in areas R. typus aggregation events occur, with the aim to understand whether bathymetry influences aggregations. The research carried out shows there are similarities in bathymetry between aggregation sites, significantly different from other coastal areas within R. typus’ global range. This study concludes that bathymetry does influence Rhincodon typus aggregations […]

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Tourism Influence on Whale Shark Behaviour in South Ari atoll, Maldives

Author(s): Jil Kuhne
Masters Thesis, University of York
Keywords: Tourism, Whale Shark, Score System, Behaviour, Evasive, Maldives

The aim of this study is to provide a data basis, on which a concept for a more sustainable form of tourism could be developed. This study investigated if disturbance factors, caused by human activities, such as the number of people in the water, the number of boats nearby the shark or the shark-boat distance […]

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Motivations Behind The ‘Site Fidelity’ of Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) in South Ari atoll and Baa atoll, Maldives

Author(s): Samual Dixon
Masters Thesis, University of York
Keywords: Whale Shark, Rhincondon typus, Maldives Archipelago, Site Fidelity, Environmental Variables

This study looks at two key aggregation sites in the Republic of Maldives to assess what are the primary factors that influence whale shark ‘site fidelity’. At the South Ari MPA, whale sharks predictably occur all year round, whereas at Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll, whale sharks predictably aggregate only during the southwest monsoon season

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4th International Whale Shark Conference Abstract

Author(s): James W. Hancock, Richard G. Rees, Tom K. Jenkins, Ibrahim Shameel, Katie Hindle, Irthisham Zareer, Giulia Donati, Alexandra Childs, Edgar F. Cagua
IWSC4
Keywords: IWSC4, whale shark, engagement, Big Fish Network, citizen science, technology, open data

The MWSRP was honoured to attend the 4th International Whale Shark Conference in Doha between 16-18 May 2016. Generously hosted by the state of Qatar, through the Ministry of Environment, and its partners Maersk Oil Qatar and the Qatar Whale Shark Research Project the event bought together over 100 whale shark researchers from across the […]

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Analysis of the Phoretic Relationship Between Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) and Remora (Remora remora) in the South Ari Atoll Marine Protected Area of the Maldives, as a Non-Invasive Associative Method for Classifying Levels of Recuperation in Sharks Following Deep Dives

Author(s): Goddard, R
University of South Wales Undergraduate Dissertation_2016
Keywords: Whale shark, remora, thermoregulation, recuperation, Maldives

An interesting first assessment of the validity of using an associative host to assess behaviour in whale sharks. This completely non-invasive approach explores a subjective observation based on the overarching hypothesis the MWSRP holds for why whale sharks use the South Ari atoll Marine Protected Area as an aggregation site. This dissertation was conducted by […]

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