Whale sharks make waves in Maldives: Press Association

“A small group of whale sharks in the Maldives is proving more popular than anyone could have imagined,” writes the Press Association.

“On their own, the majestic creatures living in a single Maldivian atoll – a ring-shaped chain of islands formed of coral – account for nearly 3% of global tourism devoted to sharks, a study shows.

The whale shark is the world’s biggest fish, reaching lengths of 40ft (12.2m) or more. Despite its appearance, it is a gentle giant that preys on nothing larger than shrimp-like plankton.

Last year the South Ari atoll Marine Protected Area (Sampa) attracted between 77,000 and 78,000 tourists on whale shark excursions, bringing in a direct income of £5.6 million to operators.”

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