P-6318.jpg

Tiger Zoo

 THE Ultimate TIGER SHARK place!

Tiger Zoo is the name of a dive site which was discovered in April 2017 and promoted by our team. We named it Tiger Zoo when we realized that in this place we have the possibility to observe tiger sharks all year round, from shallow to the deep, dozens of them at a single dive. With an encounter guarantee of 100%, it reminded us of a zoo or an aquarium. The tiger sharks are not aggressive and we provide safe diving with these beautiful predators everyday. 

Tiger Zoo

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 19.13.22 2.jpg
P-4711.jpg
tiger sharks.jpg

Tiger Sharks

Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier (lat.)) belong to the requiem sharks family (Carcharhinidae) and are the only member of the genus Galeocerdo still existing. The species is named tiger shark because of the dark stripes on the sides of their bodies and fins. The tiger shark is a large apex predator, average length 3-4 m, females may attain over 5 m (16 ft). They inhabit tropical and temperate waters all over the world. These graceful predators play a very important role in oceanic ecosystems. As the top predators, they control their prey populations by feeding on the infected, weak or injured individuals. With their excellent sense of smell, they prefer to scavenge on carcasses whenever possible. This top-down force in the food chain balances the entire ecosystem and maintains its health. Tigers are very adaptable in their diet and were therefore known as the garbage bins of the ocean.

Tiger Sharks

P-4725.jpg
P-4752.jpg
 
P-4706.jpg

The Location

The Location

Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 21.17.10 (1).jpg

The dive site is located at the harbour entrance since most fish waste has been dumped in this area after the harbour was built. Due to this accumulated dumping, tiger sharks more and more frequently have been cruising the area scavenging on the remainders of the local and sustainable tuna fishery.

 

The dive site includes a shallow plateau 6-9 meters deep and a steep drop off at about 12-15 meters that drops into the depths of the ocean. On this plateau, we remain stationary and observe tiger sharks that are attracted by the fishermen's waste. 

Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 20.29.00.jpg
 
P-4708.jpg
P-6247.jpg

How we dive

How we dive

During the tiger dives, safety is priority. As soon as we arrive at the dive site, the divers will be arranged in a line, so that the guides and safety divers have the divers and sharks at all times in view. The dive will be mostly stationary to ensure that the sharks are not intimidated and that everyone stays safe. A small amount of fish waste will then be dumped away from the divers to attract the sharks onto the plateau. The sharks stick around until the dive is finished and make close passes in front of the divers throughout the dive.

 

At this site, we have identified more than 35 individuals showing up during a single dive. On average, we observe about 10 different tiger sharks per dive. However, there is much more marine life at the site such as massive giant travellies, rainbow runners, moray eels and barracudas, occasionally silver tip sharks, turtles and octopus. We try to be as least invasive as possible. Therefore, there is no hand-feeding and no touching (unless for diver's safety) of the sharks. 

Copy of P-4728.jpg
P-4752.jpg

We do not feed sharks

We do not feed sharks

Traditionally in the Maldives, the main food supply is daily fish catch. All the islands have daily fish waste, which is being dumped back to the ocean. Some of these places are famous dive sites around the country. Fuvahmulah is one of them. Located in the the open ocean, Fuvahmulah attracts part of a massive population of tiger sharks. Tiger sharks have been surrounding this island for ages. Before, fish heads were dumped all around the island. After the harbour and local fish market were built in 2003, all fish supply and waste and, therefore, tiger sharks accumulated in the harbour area. Everyday they continue consuming the fish waste and divers can watch them on a shallow plateau. 

P-376.jpg
 
P-4710.jpg
P-4756.jpg

Photographer's paradise

Photographer's paradise

There is an ultimate opportunity for underwater photographers to get the closest shot of tiger sharks. Special private dives can be provided for underwater photographers.  Also, if you want to have picture and videos with you and tiger sharks, our photographer can make for you unforgettable images!

P-4712.jpg
 
P-4740.jpg
IMG_2118.jpg

SAFETY FIRST

SAFETY FIRST

To make the Tiger Zoo safety rules easy to understand, we created a manual which can be useful for everyone who plans to visit Tiger Zoo.

On the Tiger Zoo dives, safety is priority. We have several safety divers in the water and we follow strict rules. All dive guides have Shark Speciality and Shark Expert certifications. Our dive guides spent thousands of hours diving with tiger sharks in Tiger Zoo and know their behavior and the conditions of the local environment. 

Before each dive, all divers are given a comprehensive briefing about shark behavior, diving procedure and safety rules which they must follow during the dive. Each diver is given a special stick for protection, which is only used to build a barrier between the wildlife and the diver if a shark is coming uncomfortably close. Each dive is lead by a team of dive guides and assistants who are responsible for a safe and fun dive. 

Tiger Shark Fuvahmulah
 
P-4709.jpg
Снимок экрана 2021-09-17 в 21.13.52.jpeg

Shark Speciality

Shark Speciality

Fuvahmulah is the best place to interact with sharks closely. If you would like to get more in-depth knowledge about the biology, ecology and threats of sharks, we are offering the PADI AWARE Shark Conservation speciality. 

42426818_1645894132206636_4359276850640322560_o.jpg
 
P-4758.jpg
P-6318.jpg
P-4743.jpg

Tiger Shark identification data base

Tiger Shark identification data base

Снимок экрана 2022-04-26 в 15.53.36.png

Every tiger shark can be distinguished and identified based on its natural markings. We have started our recordings in 2016. For the last 5 years, we have done thousands of dives in Tiger Zoo. More than 200 different Tiger Shark individuals are identified and recorded in the data base. Below you can see some of our current regular visitors that you might encounter when you visit us! The complete database of identified tiger sharks is also available here.

We conduct official government research of the tiger sharks and other elasmobranchs in Fuvahmulah. For the 5 years of observations, we have revealed many facts about their residency, social interactions, gestation periods, anthropogenic impacts and healing processes. Our resident marine biologist proceeds the data base daily and logs every single shark dive. We provide lectures and presentations about sharks in general and the populations that we encounter around Fuvahmulah on a regular basis. Our guests can get certified with the PROJECT AWARE shark conservation speciality during their stay in Fuvahmulah.

P-4720.jpg
Fuvahmulah Tiger Shark.jpg
Tiger Shark Fuvahmulah

To the scientists, marine biologists, and shark professionals:

We have many interesting facts and knowledge to share. Please write us if you have interest,

we would love to collaborate!

For all who encountered a tiger shark:

If you identify a new shark, you have the chance to name it. Don't hesitate to send us photos and videos: 

We will check if we have this shark already in the data base or if it is a new one. Please include date, time and location, so our marine biologist can use it for research.

P-6251.jpg
 
Featherfin
ID: F001
Gender: female
Size: 3.7 m
Scares/cuts/spots: trailing edge of dorsal fin "feathered"
Behavior: calm, curious
Extra: regular visitor at the dive site since the beginning
First sighted: 07.12.2016
P-1018.jpg
 Mal
ID: F049
Gender: female
Size: 4 m
Scares/cuts/spots: curled up dorsal fin
Behavior: dominant, calm
Extra: currently pregnant
First sighted: 30.07.2019
P-1489.jpg
Rose
ID: F009
Gender: female
Size: 3.8 m
Scares/cuts/spots: Battered dorsal fin, dark spot on left side near gills
Behavior: curious, friendly, unpredictable
Extra: recently came back after leaving pregnant
First sighted: 06.06.
2017
Tiger shark
Sunny
ID: F054
Gender: female
Size: 3.2 m
Scares/cuts/spots: Horizontal Cut of the top of dorsal fin
Behavior: calm, slow moving
Extra: 
First sighted: 30.07.2019
Sunny.jpg
Juanita
ID: F027
Gender: female
Size: 3.6 m
Scares/cuts/spots: Battered dorsal  fin, top dorsal and caudal fin cut
Behavior: calm, shy
Extra: 
Named by: Juan Salgado, 2017
Mazin
ID: M007
Gender: male
Size: 3.1 m
Scares/cuts/spots: crooked caudal fin, notch in first dorsal  
Behavior: fast moving, shy
Extra: 
First sighted: 02.09.2018
Mazin1.jpg
Rihana
ID: F002
Gender: female
Size: 3.8 m
Scares/cuts/spots: hook on left side in flesh, weird jaw  
Behavior: calm, dominant
Extra: pregnant currently
First sighted: 13.05.2017
Rihana2.jpg