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Like the lion, which is considered to be the king of animals, the shark has long been the mistress of the seas and oceans. Regardless of species and size, sharks have always been alarming, because they are perceived as real predators. Few people know that there are filter-feeding sharks that feed on plankton, small fish and squid. This is the world's largest whale shark. This species and several others can be found in tropical Maldivian waters. About sharks in the Maldives, how and when you can see them, is it dangerous to swim in their company - further in the article.

Sebastian Pena Lambarri
Sebastian Pena Lambarri

Shark watching in Maldives

Many resorts in the Maldives offer an interesting type of water entertainment - shark watching. The amazing inhabitants of the ocean depths are a kind of living attraction and greatly help the Maldivian resorts to increase their income. To make the meeting of tourists with sharks more predictable, fish are fed in the right places.

Boat trips on a transparent bottom boat are one of the favorite pastimes of tourists. No less impressions from meeting even a small reef shark can be obtained during snorkeling and diving in the Maldives.

If you decide to explore the underwater world of the Maldives, book your hotel on wiotto.com. Choose your resort with a good seafood program and enjoy an active holiday on the paradise islands.

Depositphotos
Depositphotos

Is it dangerous to swim with sharks in the Maldives

Swimming with sharks that are found in the Maldives is very interesting and not scary at all. World statistics knows many cases of shark attacks on people. But, fortunately, they have nothing to do with the Maldives. Most of the shark species found in Maldivian waters are not aggressive or dangerous.

A shark can attack only as self-defense. So that the fish does not decide, then you can threaten it with something, observe a few simple rules while swimming with sharks

  • Don't swim too close or block the shark's path.
  • As much as you would like to stroke a shark, or at least touch, do not do it.
  • Never use a flash when photographing a shark.

Depositphotos
Depositphotos

Where and when there are sharks in the Maldives

Sharks can be seen in the Maldives throughout the year. However, the most likely meeting will be in the so-called dry season. This is a short period from January to March when the ocean is more or less calm. But there are places where different types of sharks live constantly. These include the expanses of water around the islands of South Ari Atoll, as well as Addu, the southernmost atoll of the Maldives archipelago.

What sharks are found in the Maldives

The water world of the Maldives archipelago has as many as 26 shark species. The most common are

  • whale shark;
  • white, gray and blacktip reef shark;
  • leopard shark;
  • hammerhead shark;
  • bottom guitar shark and nurse shark.

Depositphotos
Hammerhead shark | Depositphotos

Whale shark

The largest fish in the world, from the inhabitants of the oceans known to science. The whale shark has been around for over 65 million years, but humans still know little about its lifestyle.

It is impossible to confuse with any other whale shark. Its huge, flattened head with a large mouth is not typical of other species. In 2002, a record size of a whale shark was recorded - 20 meters in length and a weight of 34 tons. Moreover, the largest shark species is not dangerous. These huge fish feed on plankton and small fish, passing seawater through themselves as a filter. In this, whale sharks are similar to manta rays, no less interesting representatives of the underwater world of the Maldives.

In coastal areas, whale sharks are quite rare. And the Maldives are on the list of those few places. Snorkelers and divers note that encounters with these stunning animals often occur near the surface.

Interesting to know about the whale shark

  • Whale sharks are not whales. More precisely, not marine mammals, but the largest ocean fish. They got this name because of their rather big size.
  • Whale sharks are the largest fish known to mankind that swim up to shallow water. In the Maldives, they appear at the very edge of the reefs.
  • Each whale shark has a unique pattern that allows marine researchers to identify individuals.
  • The whale shark has 300 rows of teeth, and their number reaches 15 thousand. At the same time, the teeth are very small - each no more than 6 millimeters in length, and there is no need for them.

Depositphotos
Whale shark | Depositphotos

Gray reef shark

This is perhaps the main “guest of the program” while snorkeling on the reefs. A gray color covers the upper part of the shark's body. They are not aggressive or shy underwater inhabitants. They are busy looking for food and are not particularly shy about divers. The gray reef shark rarely reaches more than 1.5 meters in length.

Depositphotos
Gray reef shark | Depositphotos

Blacktip or Malgash night shark

A subspecies of the gray reef shark, which has a characteristic fin color. These attractive fish also love the coral reefs that are rich in wildlife. The black shark reaches a length of 1.5 meters. It can sink to a depth of 70 meters, but in search of food it tries to stay in shallow water.

Hammerhead shark

It will not be difficult to recognize her. Hammerhead fish amaze with their unusual head structure. They can be seen on all atolls throughout the year. A very peaceful fish, despite its threatening appearance. The hammerhead shark is a nocturnal predator that retires during the day. Therefore, to see such a miracle fish will be more real in the dark. Night diving has its advantages.

Depositphotos
Hammerhead shark | Depositphotos

Tiger shark

The Maldives is also home to the tiger shark, although it is quite rare for divers to come across it. This is because the tiger shark lives at a decent depth. In shallow waters, it is more common in the southern atolls. This is a rather dangerous species for humans, although all encounters with tiger sharks were safe for Maldivian divers. Recently, a diving point for spotting tiger sharks - "Tiger's Zoo", which is located off Fuvahmulah Island in the remote Nyaviani Atoll, has been gaining popularity.

Depositphotos
Tiger shark | Depositphotos

Nurse shark

Among the coral reefs of the Maldives, there is another interesting species. Nurse sharks lead a bottom life and do not disturb divers, except in cases of self-defense. During the day, they usually sleep in large companies, hiding between stones. In addition, at night, one by one, they are looking for something or someone to profit from.

Wouter Naert
Nurse shark | Wouter Naert

Shark Guitar

If you meet in the Indian Ocean someone in between a shark and a stingray, it will be a shark guitar. The unusual fish from the side really resembles a modern electric guitar. A fairly rare species of shark in the Maldives. Many of those who have come across a guitar mistake it for a kind of stingray.

Depositphotos
Shark Guitar | Depositphotos

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