Reethi Beach Resort has exciting news to share this International Whale Shark Day celebrated on the 30th of August each year! The Green Globe certified resort located in the scenic Baa Atoll, have announced that they are collaborating with Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP) and SC Capital Partners to conduct intensive research in the Hanifaru Bay. Hanifaru Bay lies in the protected UNESCO Biosphere and is a popular place for the meet up of whale sharks and manta rays.
Founded with the mission of understanding the demographics of the whale sharks in the Maldives, MWSRP strives to correlate the Maldivian population dynamics of the species with the existence of the creatures in the rest of the world. Their prime objective is to promote, protect and conserve the physical and natural habitat of the whale sharks and the marine diversity while bringing improvements.
Regardless of being deemed the largest fish in the world, whale sharks are very vulnerable and under many threats entirely caused by anthropological impact. With populations actively declining and scientists unable to quantify the exact numbers of surviving species, the need for protection has reached an alarming level. Whale sharks are crucial in balancing the marine ecosystem but their protection ultimately links with economic motivations. The more the species are seen of having economical value, the greater the lengths of conservation will stretch.
Whale sharks has been protected in the country since 1995 and now Reethi Beach Resort and collaborators are working towards implementing protection practices as effectively as possible. As part of this effort, SC Capital Partners and Reethi Beach Resort will jointly sponsor MWSRP and help conduct meticulous research in the Hanifaru Bay where whale shark congregations are often sighted. Through this collaboration, local youths will be taken on educational trips to better create awareness about marine conservation as well as highlight the scope of job opportunities.
The research team from MWSRP will be supported by Ocean Fantics located in the island of Fonimagoodhoo who will play an instrumental role in the data collection process through land and sea navigations.
As a founding member of the Baa Atoll Project (BAP) where resorts in the atoll partner to discuss and address environmental issues together, Reethi Beach Resorts hopes that this initiative will set of a chain of conservational initiatives in the future.