Madagascar – Djibuti

17 April 2019
South Africa
16 April 2019



Whale shark

During the educational expedition in Madagascar the participants led by the CSS Team will perform snorkeling to directly observe whale sharks, sea turtles, coral reefs and visit, reaching it by pirogue, the primary forest of Nosy be, contributing to data collection. In Madagascar the logistic support is provided by the Manta Diving of Nosy be, with which the CSS has signed a Technical-scientific Partnership.

In Djibouti, the educational cruise expedition will take place in the bay of Ras Korali taking advantage of the “Elegant” boat that will host the team for the duration of the cruise and will be carried out in addition to the snorkeling activity for the recognition of whale sharks, even a pair of scuba diving with patented at least open, in the coral reef.





Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) are panoceanic planctophages that have been described for the first time by a specimen captured in the western Indian Ocean in 1828 (Smith, 1828), the filtering apparatus of R. typus is different from that of other sharks filter feeders. The whale shark is able to feed on aspiration, which can allow them to prey on more mobile organisms and therefore they are more suitable for dense aggregations of zooplankton, while the basking shark Cetorhinus maximus and Megachasma pelagios, are apparently able to feed on prey lower densities, filtering large volumes of water (Taylor et al., 1983). Whale sharks can be uniquely identified due to spots and spots on their skin, the area behind the fifth branchial fissure is particularly suitable for this purpose (Arzoumanian et al., 2005).

Two whale shark populations are known that live mainly in the Indo Pacific area and in the Atlantic Ocean, they can reach 18-20m in length and weigh tens of tons, late reaching sexual maturity. They have been the subject of intense fishing, they are currently protected by the CITES Convention which prohibits their fishing and their number has dropped dramatically in recent decades.

Gatherings of juveniles are present along the coasts of various countries such as Madagascar, Djibouti (Micarelli et al 2017) etc, while adults generally prefer to stay offshore.