Whale Sharks in Djibouti

In November 2009 I was invited by Dr David Rowat of the The Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS) and Michel Vely/Danile Jouannet from Megaptera to join them on their Djibouti Whale Shark Research Programme.  With increased sightings in the UAE I was very interested in learning more about Whale sharks and how to monitor them with the goal of maybe setting up some sort of programme here in the UAE.  I jumped at the chance to go and in January 2010 I boarded the M/V Deli, a 26 metre Turkish built wooden schooner and headed up the Gulf of Tadjoura where the plankton rich waters from November to January attract young Whale sharks.  During our journey from Djibouti the skipper of the Deli briefed us on where we would be finding our Whale sharks and with the use of a map he highlighted the two areas either side of our anchor point at Baie Coraillie.  For the next week, twice a day, we would be visiting either Acacia Beach (West) or (East) Arta Bay where the French Foreign Legion Camp is based. Continue reading