The Gentle Giants of The Maldives

13 Apr 2010

Its incredible to think that something so damn big can be so damn graceful, elegant and mesmerising.

Proud of the incredible Manta action that we have been having the past few weeks here in the Lhaviyani Atoll, our colleagues and guests on Vakarufalhi were feeling a bit left out about all the attention our majestic Mantas were grabbing.  This week, we took the camera down to the South Ari Atoll.  The video footage from the trip can be found in this week’s ‘Last 7 Days…On Kuredu’ section.

Whalesharks are well known in the South Ari Atoll.  A huge stretch of outreef, starting at Maamigili Beru, and which runs almost all the way around to Hukuru Elhi Faru (Manta Point), is prone to huge upwellings of nutrient rich water.  With the water being packed with delicious plankton, its no surprise that some of the Indian Ocean largest plankton eaters come to this part of the Maldives to feast.

Whalesharks are the oceans’ largest fish, reaching up to a whopping 18 meters.  Most of the whalesharks found in the Maldives however are between 5 and 9 meters in length.  Little is currently known about whalesharks and their migratory behaviours, but thanks to the Maldives Whaleshark Research Program, it has been discovered that the Maldives population of approximately 130 whalesharks is resident here in these waters the whole year round.

With plankton rich water on the menu, Manta Rays are not too far behind in terms of filling their boots with as many nutrients as possible.  ‘Hukuru Elhi Faru’ is world famous amongst divers for being a long stretch of reef where Mantas come to to get cleaned.
Enjoy the pick of this week’s video action in ‘The Last 7 Days’ section of the Video Gallery, and keep checking back over the next few days as we update the relevant dive sites with movies, helping to give you more of idea as how the dive spots look around Vakarufalhi and the South Ari Atoll.