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Marine Life of Fuvahmulah

Because of the geographic location and the topography, the island is home to a great variety of shark and pelagic species. The island towers up from the deep, much like a vertical cliff, consequently attracting a huge diversity of sharks and other pelagic life that utilize the surrounding reef for cleaning, feeding, and maturing. This makes diving great all year round, making each dive exciting and adventurous.

With every dive, divers have an opportunity to encounter plentiful varieties of massive pelagic fish such as Giant Trevallies, Snappers, Great Barracudas, Skipjack, and Dogtooth Tunas, and a whole host of spectacular reef fish that come with a healthy and thriving coral reef.

There is always potential to observe sharks and maybe even some rare species.
The most frequently observed species include, Tiger Sharks, Thresher sharks, Hammerheads, Whale sharks, Grey reefs, notp, and White tip reef sharks, along with a myriad of pelagic fish and countless colorful reef fish throughout the rich coral reefs.

Some less frequent but uncommon encounters include Scalloped, Mola Mola, Oceanic Mantas, Oceanic white tip sharks, spinner, and silky sharks.

Tiger Shark Diving Rules and Regulation

Common fishes card of Fuvahmulah

common fishes in fuvahmulah

Tiger shark (Galeocerdo Cuvier)

Tiger Shark Dive | Fuvahmulah

Interesting facts about Tiger shark

  • COMMON NAME: Tiger Shark
  • SCIENTIFIC NAME: Galeocerdo cuvier
  • GROUP NAME: School, Shiver
  • SIZE: grow up to 14 feet (5 meter)
  • LIFESPAN: Up to 50 years
  • WEIGHT: 385 to 900 kg (800 to 2,000 pounds)
  • TOP SPEED: 35 Mph (56 kilometres )
  • DIET: Crustaceans, fish, seals, birds, squid, turtles, sea snakes, dolphins, small sharks
  • COLOR: Skin color ranges from dark blue to light green, with an overall grey hue. The body has dark vertical bars or spots on the flanks with a pale or white underside
  • HABITAT: Tropical, sub-tropical, and warm temperate salt water. It inhabits deep oceans as well as shallow coastal waters. Tiger Shark can be observed all year around in Fuvahmulah Maldives

Thresher Shark (Alopiidae; Bonaparte)

Thresher Shark dive Fuvahmulah

Interesting facts about Thresher Shark

  • COMMON NAME: Thresher Shark
  • GROUP NAME: Alopiidae; Bonaparte
  • SIZE: grow up to to 20 feet (6 meter)
  • LIFESPAN: Up to 20 years
  • WEIGHT:  500 kg ( 1,100 pounds)
  • TOP SPEED: 30 Mph (48 kilometres )
  • DIET: small pelagic fish including anchovies, sardines, hake, mackerel, and squid
  • COLOR: Skin color brown, gray, blue-gray, or blackish on the back and underside of their snout. They are lighter on the sides, and fully white below. Their pectoral, pelvic, and dorsal fins are blackish, and there are sometimes white dots on the tips of the pectoral, pelvic, and tail fins
  • HABITAT: coastal and oceanic waters. It is most commonly observed far from shore, although it wanders close to the coast in search of food. Adults are common over the continental shelf, while juveniles reside in coastal bays and near shore waters
  • LOCATION: Tropical, sub-tropical, and warm temperate salt water. It inhabits deep oceans as well as shallow coastal waters. Thresher Sharks can be observed all year around in Fuvahmulah Maldives

Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrnidae)

Hammerhead Shark Dive Fuvahmulah

Interesting facts about Hammerhead Shark

  • COMMON NAME: Hammerhead Shark
  • SCIENTIFIC NAME: Sphyrnidae
  • GROUP NAME: School, shoal
  • SIZE: grow up to to 20 feet (6 meter)
  • LIFESPAN: Up to 20 -30 years
  • WEIGHT:  450 kg ( 991 pounds)
  • TOP SPEED: 20 Mph (32 kilometres )
  • DIET: stingrays, other rays and skates.May also consume other sharks, including other hammerhead sharks, bony fish, including groupers and sea catfish, squid and bottom dwelling crustaceans. Commonly feeds by pinning prey down with hammer and biting pieces off
  • COLOR: gray-brown to olive-green on top with off-white undersides
  • HABITAT: hammerheads are coastal-pelagic, semi-oceanic sharks, found close inshore and well offshore, over the continental shelves, island terraces, and in passes and lagoons
  • LOCATION: Tropical, sub-tropical, and warm temperate salt water. It inhabits deep oceans as well as shallow coastal waters. Hammerhead Shark can be observed all year around in Fuvahmulah Maldives

Sea Turtle


Sea Turtle (kahanbu)

Five of the seven known species of turtles in the world are seen in the Maldives.

Two species of Sea Turtles are commonly encountered
Hawksbill Turtle
(Eretmochelys imbricata)
Grow up to 27 to 37 inches (70 to 95.5 cm)
Weight: 110 to 150 pound (50 to 68 kg)
Green Turtle
Green Turtle
(Chelonia mydas)
Grow up to 36 to 48 inches (91 to 122 cm)
Weight: 300 to 350 pound (136 to 159 kg)

facts about sea turtle

  • Temperature dictates the sex of baby turtles. Warmer nests lead to more females and cooler ones lead to more males
  • They can hold their breath for up to 7 hours underwater. To accomplish this mighty feat they slow their heart rate to up to nine minutes in between heart beats in order to conserve oxygen
  • They live to about 100 years
  • Sea turtles have been swimming in the oceans for much longer than humans have walked the earth. They have been around for the last 100 million years
  • Sea turtles can detect the Earth's magnetic field and they use it as a compass
  • All turtles have a robust horny beak; none have real teeth
  • They use paddle-shaped flippers to propel themselves to speeds of up to 35 kilometers (km) per hour
  • To reach their nesting grounds, Sea turtles migrate long distances every 2 to 4 years, traveling back to the very same beaches where they were born
  • Between 60 to 200 eggs are laid at a time and take two months to hatch
  • They think jellyfish are delicious. Leatherbacks and hawksbill turtles feed on jellyfish and keep their populations in check. Plastic looks like jellyfish when it's floating in the water and that's why so many turtles die from ingesting plastic they were going for a tasty snack
  • They're the oceans' lawnmowers. Green sea turtles have a more plant-based diet and eat seagrass. By keeping seagrass short, they pre- vent it from getting tall and harming other marine creatures


spinner dolphin
Spinner dolphins
(Stenella longirostris)
Grow up to 7 feet (2.1 m) long & weight 170 pound (77 kg)
Bottlenose dolphin
Bottlenose dolphins
(Tursiops truncatus)
Grow up to 13 feet (4 m) long & weight 590 pound (267 kg)

Dolphin (Koamas)

Spinner dolphins are the most commonly sighted owing to their predictable daily migrations. Each morning they travel into the Atoll to rest during the day and then travel back out of the Atoll to feed at night. The movements of the larger Bottlenose dolphins are more transient in response to the availability of their larger prey. Occasionally other Dolphin and Whale species like Risso’s dolphin and Shortfin pilot whales are also sighted.

Two species of dolphins are commonly encountered


  • Spinner dolphins grow up to 7 feet (2.1 m) long and weigh up to 170 pounds (77 kg)
  • Spinner dolphins can live for 20 years
  • Spinner dolphins are known for spinning their bodies in the air, making as many as seven rotations at a time
  • Researchers suggest that spinner dolphins spin for multiple reasons: to shake off remoras and parasites; to indicate location and direction; to display dominance; for courtship purposes; and possibly just because the activity is fun for the dolphins
  • Spinner dolphins can reach up to 9.8 feet (3 m) above water
  • Feeding on small fish, squid, and shrimp mostly at night in the open ocean, they return to the shallows during the day to rest and socialize
  • Spinner dolphins live in large pods from a few dozen to a thousand or more in tropical and subtropical zones around the world
  • Because dolphins need to consciously think about breathing, when they sleep only half of their brain rests at a time. The awake half needs to tell it breathe and monitor its surroundings
  • The spinner dolphins swim at around 4 to 11 kilometers (km). Dolphins swim at speeds of over 32 kilometers (km) when they are trying to run away from predators or are on the hunt themselve
  • Spinner dolphins communicate with one another through echolocation. They have special hearing skills that allow them to utilize sounds to determine the size, movement, and position of the objects




Stingrays (Myliobatoidei)
Grow up to 4 to 6.5 feet (121 to 198 cm)
Weight: 600 to 790 pound (227 to 358 kg)


With flat, wide bodies, stingrays may not look like fish, but they are! There are about 6 types Rays commonly found in Maldives.
They have a deadly weapon on the tail. But they would sting only on self-defense and when they do they would often go for critical parts of the body such as chest or neck. It is an amazing creature to snorkel with, just keep 8 feet distance and enjoy. You can actually go even closer but to do that you need to understand it, you should know if it is feeling safe from you. Stingrays are commonly found in the lagoon.