We’ve heard worrying news from our whale shark researcher friends in the Maldives. It seems that the newly spotted whale shark they named Nick, and which we helped to tag with them, is missing. The guys found the tag on Mula Island in Meema atoll, by using satellite data. But some local people have it and are refusing to give it back unless they are paid more money – they have already received $100 ‘reward money’.
“We’re reluctant to give them anymore as it may be seen as an incentive to take more of our tags to sell back to us,” Adam Harman says.
The other unknown is what has happened to Nick. “They may have killed him and taken the tag.”
On a more positive note, the Maldives government has this week created three new marine protected areas to help conserve whale sharks and manta rays.