Whale Shark Research for Divers in Vakarufalhi

13 Nov 2017

Whale shark encounters are always close to the top of any divers bucket list and at Vakarufalhi, as well as diving with whale sharks, divers can help the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP) using the photos they take on their dives.

Less than one hour by boat from Vakarufalhi, lies one of the world’s top whale shark hot spots – the outer reef of South Ari Atoll is famous for it’s numerous whale shark sightings. The area has been declared by the Maldives government a Marine Protected Area (MPA) because of its importance as a globally significant aggregation site for the whale shark (Rhincodon typus).
Thanks to the collaboration of the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme team ( and the application of their software, divers at Vakarufalhi are able to identify the whale sharks spotted during their dives. The software analyzes the picture of the shark’s left side and uses the unique pattern of white spots present between the gills and the pectoral fin to reveal the name and vital statistics of the shark.

During Prodivers’ last dive on the outer reef of the island of Dhiddhoo, the group of divers had the pleasure to dive with Mahi (WS288), a 5 metre long, male whale shark, spotted for the first time in 2011.

If you have any pictures of whale shark spotted in Maldives, you can help the research by sending them to the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme.

Take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to discover and identify whale sharks – grab your camera and let’s go!

Take a look at the video of Mahi, captured by Antonio.