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.

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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

Read more

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
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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

Why Are Whale Sharks in South Ari atoll? Here’s Our Best Guess

Author(s): MWSRP
MWSRP Internal Document
Keywords: Whale shark, Maldives, South Ari atoll, temperature, oxygen levels, thermoregulation, feeding, protection, juvenile, threats, remora, residency

Produced in 2013, the theory presented in this internal MWSRP document is an amalgamation of observed behaviours and records going back to 2006 and represents a ‘best guess’ on why whale sharks can be seen in the South Ari atoll Marine Protected Area (S.A.MPA). It also highlights possible vulnerabilities for the sharks in this region, […]

Read more

The effect of the lunar cycle on the abundance and food source of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) in South Ari Atoll, Maldives

Author(s): Aimee Riley
University of Plymouth Undergraduate Dissertation
Keywords: Maldives, whale shark, plankton, lunar cycle, abundance, monsoon, food source, feeding

A promising pilot study on the effect of the lunar cycle on the abundance of whale sharks and plankton by an undergraduate student completing her dissertation with the MWSRP in July & August 2014. Abstract; “Whale sharks are known to inhabit the waters surrounding South Ari Atoll throughout the year (Riley et al., 2010). The […]

Read more

MWSRP Maldives Whale Shark Presentation

Author(s): The MWSRP Team
In House MWSRP Presentation
Keywords: Whale Shark, Maldives, Guest, Presentation, Biology, Ecology, Threats, Behaviour, Feeding, Captivity, Excursion

It gives us great pleasure to share with you an update to the presentation that we at MWSRP created and use when we conduct lectures on the whale sharks of the Maldives. Any person or organisation who would like to use this, either for their own interest or to present to their own guests is […]

Read more

Whale shark economics: a valuation of wildlife tourism in South Ari Atoll, Maldives

Author(s): Edgar Fernando Cagua, Neal Collins, James Hancock and Richard Rees
Cagua et al. (2014),Whale shark economics: a valuation of wildlife tourism in South Ari Atoll, Maldives. PeerJ 2:e515; DOI 10.7717/peerj.515
Keywords: Economic valuation,Wildlife tourism,Whale shark, Maldives, Regression model, Direct spend, MPA management, Shark watching

Whale sharks attract large numbers of tourists, divers and snorkelers each year to South Ari Atoll in the Republic ofMaldives. Yet without information regarding the use and economic extent of the attraction, it is difficult to prioritize conservation or implement effective management plans. We used empirical recreational data and generalized mixed statistical models to conduct […]

Read more