About the Whale Shark
The whale shark is the largest fish on our planet. But despite their great size very little is known about these colossal fish. By determining the answers to some of the unknowns we (mankind) will be able to enhance protection efforts to prevent another species from becoming extinct. The IUCN have categorized the whale shark as vulnerable, stating that they expect a worldwide population decrease of twenty - fifty percent in the next one hundred years.
Whale sharks take about 30 years to reach sexual maturity and the vast majority of whale shark encounters happen with immature male sharks. The continued illegal fishing and/or finning of sharks will have catastrophic consequences to the survival of the species. Shark's major predator is man. With your help we can attempt to reverse the Global trend of shark numbers rapidly decreasing.
The Maldives are unique in the Indian Ocean in that they host a year round population of whale sharks, making the archipelago a superb place to study their biology and behaviour.
The Maldives relies heavily on tourism, much of it underwater related. As such the whale shark is an extremely valuable asset economically but, in many ways, an unknown quantity ecologically. The MWSRP is helping to solve some of the mysteries surrounding this fantastic fish and empower local communities to manage ways of sharing them with tourists sustainably.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island (Hilton Hotels) are currently contributing towards the MWSRP's costs during field work periods and Ocean Dancer (in partnership with Peter Hughes Diving) are the charity's newest sponsors, providing imperative funds helping to ensure the research continues. Diva Maldives have become the Marine Protected Area initiative sponsor. This enables the programme to cover extra costs through any additional small grant sponsorships obtained. Longer term funding is currently required for the MWSRP's goals to be realised and to develop a permanent field station facility. For more information about funding and sponsorship check the get involved page or to make an instant donation please click the red make a donation button to the left or visit our Just Giving page.