Shark Diving in the Maldives
Shark Diving in the Maldives

Shark’s survey in the Maldives

In collaboration with «Shark Watch Programme»

INTRODUCTION: Sharkwatch was launched in 2009 to collect baseline information on the abundance of reef associated sharks in Maldivian waters. This was to assess the status of stocks and monitor the effectiveness of the fishing ban implemented the same year.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Since its inception, a number of resorts/dive centres have participated in the programme and continue to send monitoring data on a monthly basis. The survey uses the Roving Diver Technique which is a rapid and effective assessment technique that can be used by volunteers to collect fish data.

The survey form includes 8 species of sharks which are most likely to be encountered, while other species are recorded as “Others” and identified if possible  Blacktip Reef Shark, Whitetip Reef Shark, Grey Reef Shark, Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Silvertip Shark, Tawny Nurse Shark, Variegated Shark, Whale Shark.

Shark’s survey form

RESULTS: The average number of sharks per survey varied amongst the atolls. Baa Atoll, which used to be one of the atolls where shark fishing was carried out prior to the ban has one of the lowest averages. This suggests that shark fishing at Baa Atoll may have caused a population decline.