Whale Shark © Gareth Milson.

To ensure your adoption has as much impact as possible, your contribution will support the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP).


Despite being the largest fish in the ocean, the Whale Shark is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.  The largest specimen ever recorded measured 20m in length and weighed a massive 42 tonnes, and yet Whale Sharks feed on tiny microscopic plankton rarely more than 3mm in size! The combination of its immense size and characteristic checkerboard pattern make the Whale Shark unmistakable and completely unforgettable.

Did you know that each Whale Shark has a unique pattern of spots – similar to a human fingerprint!


The MWSRP is a charity based in the South Ari Atoll Marine Protected Area, one of the few sites in the world where Whale Sharks aggregate year round. As well as studying these gentle giants, The MWSRP also fosters community focused conservation initiatives throughout the Maldives and the Indian Ocean region.

A strong research programme also enables the MWSRP to fulfil a much needed consultancy role, providing important information about the conservation status of the Whale Shark and its habitat to a range of stakeholders and government policy-makers since 2006. Their grass-roots conservation initiatives provide education opportunities and support to local communities; many of which traditionally hunted the Whale Shark for its liver oil.

Here are just some of the Whale Sharks your adoption will help:

Ayesha © MWSRP.
Ayesha is the first and biggest female shark recorded at 6.5m long. She is a very placid and has a large chunk missing from her tail.

  Christy © MWSRP.
Christy is 4.6m long and the second female shark to be identified by MWSRP.

Ella © MWSRP.
Ella is the smallest shark of the bunch, less than 3m long, she is a favourite among the researchers and is very inquisitive.

  Joey © MWSRP.
Joey is 6.5m long. When MWSRP first discovered Joey his fin had been sliced and was barely hanging on. Later it was discovered that Joey was the victim of an unsuccessful finning attempt. He has now healed and is doing well.
Skye © MWSRP.
Skye is a small shark - just 4m long. He has the most beautiful vibrant pattern of spots.


Winston © MWSRP.
Winston was the first shark to be identified by MWSRP. He is 6.8m long and very well-travelled, making journeys thousands of miles long!

Whale Shark Adoption Pack.


When you adopt a Whale Shark you'll not only be helping to fund key research but we’ll also send you an adoption pack presented in a shark folder, which includes:

  • Personalised certificate
  • Basking Shark Factsheet
  • A4 poster
  • Car sticker
  • Set of eight postcards

►Download the latest Whale Shark Report from MWSRP (pdf)



MWSRP website