Morgen Riley….:”The whale sharks here break all the rules”

This week Morgan Riley and Jen Farrant visit us to help out collecting data about our whale sharks.  Morgan and Jen both work for the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (www.mwsrp.org). The MWSRP exist to conduct research, foster community-based conservations initiatives and increase awareness of whale sharks throughout the Maldives. Our stories and photos of the whale sharks in the Cendrawasi Bay drew their attention and made them so curious they wanted to see this unique behaviour for themselves.

The Ahe dive team got a lecture about whale shark behaviour, interaction with whale sharks and how to identify sex and individuals. In the following days the team got practical in water training in how to measure the giants and from which part to take pictures. Because each whale shark has a unique spot pattern it is possible to identify individuals just from a photo, similar to finger print matching. Morgan and Jen also set up a database for the Cendrawasi Bay whale sharks to discover their numbers and growth rates and if our shark aggregation is resident or migrating.

From now on the dive team will take pictures on every trip they make to the whale sharks to develop this database and we kindly ask our guest to do the same to help out.

Many thanks to Morgan and Jen for their help and enthusiasm!

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