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, should the ideas presented indeed be true.

The MWSRP accepts that in constructing this theory – it does not really constitute a single testable hypothesis – their are numerous occasions where assumptions are made and summations may be tenuous. As such, this has not been released for scientific review but instead was created as a platform from which to base thinking and as a platform which we accept may be altered or indeed torn down as further information presents itself.

Since writing this, it has formed the basis of 4 different studies and will continue to be divided into testable hypothesis until such a time that a clearer picture emerges and revisions can be made.

Until that time, we hope it inspires some thinking as to a) whether or not it tallies with what you as observers of the whale sharks in S.A.MPA actually experience and b) on how positive vs negative behaviour on the water may be affecting the sharks.


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