The thousand rufiyaa note is the highest denomination of the Maldivian currency. It features the gentle giant of the ocean, the whale shark, known locally as “fehurihi”. An especially fitting tribute to the majesty of the largest nonmammalian vertebrate in the animal kingdom.
Although there are sightings of whale sharks as large as 20 meters, an adult whale shark is on average 9-12 meters in length. These majestic pelagic species can on average weigh as much 9 to 12.5 tons. They have an exceptionally wide terminal mouth with minute teeth and filter pads to feed on planktons and small fish. Whale sharks are notable for their distinctive patterns of narrow whitish bars and rows of spots. The patterns are specifically unique to each individual. The whale shark also has three prominent ridges along its sides. It starts above and behind the head and end at the caudal peduncle.
Whale Shark Watching and Scuba Diving in Maldives
In recent years, Maldives has established itself as a whale shark diving destination, especially South Ari Atoll. The atoll is a protected area for whale sharks and a hotspot for scuba diving in Maldives.
Fuvahmulah, is off the beaten path for tourism in the Maldives. However, diving in the pristine reefs of Fuvahmulah is a novelty that few tourists still get to experience. Among the rich marine life that can be seen in the pelagic feeding stations of Fuvahmulah is the whale shark. Whale shark watching and sightings are throughout the year but are more frequent between January and May. These docile giants are in fact known for their friendly disposition and are perfectly harmless to humans. Diving along side these gentle giants at Fuvahmulah dives sites is an experience of a lifetime for a diver.
As with all creatures in the wild, it is important to be respectful, keep sufficient distance, avoid flash photography and resist touching or disturbing them.
Here’s a quick guide to our Fuvahmulah diving sites.
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