In today’s article we will discuss the myth of any diver in the world: the Whale Shark.
There are very few places on our magnificent planet where it is possible to admire these majestic creatures: in Australia in the Eastern Pacific, in the Ningaloo Reef Nation park, from March to August. Along the coast of Djibouti, in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, from November to January. In Mexico, Cancún and Riviera Maya from mid-May to mid-September. And finally, to the delight of the guests of the Nakai Resorts, also south of Ari Atoll, from mid-October to the end of April. Let me say that compared to the locations mentioned above for snorkeling or diving with the great gentle giant, the best ever is that of the southern part of the Ari atoll offered by the Nakai Diving centers, and now I will explain why. First of all, it is good to specify that all the data I am about to provide come from a non-governmental organization financed exclusively by donations, the “Maldives Whale Shark Researche Program” which specifically deals with the study and research of the Whale Shark community throughout the area. of the Maldives, but specifically of the vast area south of the Ari atoll.
Through years of research it has been discovered that a community of sub-adult Whale Sharks consisting of about a hundred subjects is constantly present on the vast terrace in front of the south part of the Ari atoll, a terrace that extends for about 16 nautical miles from the East West. The most reasonable reason why this large community of elasmobranchs (five-gilled fish) gather in this area is scientifically proven by the fact that in the area west between the Ari atoll and the north of the next Nilandhe atoll there is it is a large submerged bay over a thousand meters deep. Due to the movements of the currents, plankton, the set of aquatic, animal and vegetable organisms, of great variety and between 5 mm and 5 cm in size, a favorite food for our giant friends, gathers on the bottom of this bay , becoming an immense and tasty restaurant.
The discovery of this “Fast Food” took place thanks to the fact that the scientific team of the “Maldives Whale Shark Researche Program” had “tagged” some subjects with a tag that could withstand the hydrostatic pressure of no more than a thousand meters of depth, for study their habits and movements. At the time of Tag recovery, it was discovered that the majority were “drowned” due to the fact that they had been transported by their “Giant Guest” well beyond the expected working depth limit. This would also justify the reason why the community of Whale Sharks in front of the Ari atoll is mainly composed of “adolescent” subjects, not more than 6-7 meters long, when an adult Whale Shark can reach an average length of over 12 meters!
The theory is that our Whale Sharks go to eat in depth and go up into shallower and more temperate waters to facilitate digestion. And here is the reason why snorkeling and diving in the southern part of Ari Atoll has unique characteristics: while in other locations around the world the reason for the congregation and, consequently, the ease of sighting of the Whale Sharks is caused from a high concentration of plankton in the aforementioned periods, however considerably compromising the visibility of the waters, in front of the south part of the Ari atoll the almost constant and continuous clarity of the ocean makes our encounters with the largest fish in the world unique, extraordinary , unforgettable. The Nakai resorts of Alimatha, Dhiggiri and Maayafushi offer their guests the opportunity to participate in the full-day snorkeling excursions proposed at least once a week, in comfortable fast boats that reach the congregation area of these majestic representatives of marine fauna in a hour and twenty sailing.
Taking part in the excursions of the Nakai diving centers to the whale shark is a fantastic and absolutely memorable experience, which fully justifies the reason, and the pride, for which all the uniforms of the Nakai diving centers have the logo of the image of this immense fish!