Wound healing is important for marine taxa such as elasmobranchs, which can incur a range of natural and anthropogenic wounds throughout their life history. There is evidence that this group shows a high capacity for external wound healing. However, anthropogenic wounds may become more frequent due to increasing commercial and recreational marine activities. Whale sharks […]
Please click here: The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is an endangered species with a declining global population. The South Ari Atoll Marine Protected Area (SAMPA), Maldives, is one of few locations globally where year-long residency of individuals occurs. This SAMPA aggregation appears to consist almost exclusively of immature males. Due to its year-round residency, this […]
Please click here: Whale sharks collect in predictable seasonal aggregations across the tropics. South Ari Atoll in the Maldives is one of a few aggregation sites where whale sharks can be encountered year-round. Here, areas with high levels of tourism-related boating traffic overlap with the whale shark hotspot, increasing the probability of anthropogenic injury. Whale […]
(This is a peer reviewed publication currently under embargo and can only be accessed via Marine & Freshwater Research. Please click here) Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) are an endangered species whose growth and reproductive biology are poorly understood. Given their conservation concern, estimating growth parameters, as traditionally derived from vertebral samples of dead animals, is challenging. […]
(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 […]
“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 […]
“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 […]
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.
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.
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 […]