BIODIVERSITYQ2 Apple Teams Up with Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme

Maureen SantosApril 25, 20194638 min

Apple is sharing its technology to help conserve wildlife. How about the others?

Apple is one of the largest gadgets and device manufacturer in the world. Aside from providing people with the latest in technology, it also cares for the welfare of animals. On April 15, Monday, the phone company shared a new “Shot on iPhone XS” video. This particular video focused on the Maldives Shark Research Programme (MWSRP). The project is centered on whale shark research and endeavors in community conservation.

The Maldives Shark Research Programme

The MWSRP started as a scientific exploration in 2006. It has long since developed to become the only long-term organization committed to studying whale shark species in the waters of Maldives. The organization sought to push forward the field of knowledge regarding whale sharks.

Moreover, it inspired the involvement of the community and industry investors. The funds helped in scientific research to protect the flourishing biodiversity and vulnerable marine environment. It will not only serve as a foundation for whale sharks but also for the lives, livelihood, and culture in the Maldives.

The video lasted for 8 minutes and featured underwater shots of the whale sharks along with the researchers who were studying them. It also served as an eye-opener on how researchers utilized Apple products to support their conservation objectives. The MWSRP field team recorded the statistics and movements of various species, including whale sharks, with the use of an iOS app.

Durable and reliable Apple iPhone XS

The film featured the Apple iPhone XS in protective cases. The latest iPhone handsets can endure full submersion in water as deep as 2 meters for up to 30 minutes. However, the footage went beyond half an hour and was filmed in deeper water.

It seems that immersion in saltwater is not a concern. During the launch of Apple’s iPhone XS, marketing chief Phil Schiller noted:

“If you happen to be hanging by the pool, drop your phone in the water…don’t worry, dive down, grab it, rinse it, let it dry, you’ll be fine. And the team tested in many different liquids — in chlorinated water, salt water, orange juice, tea, wine, even beer.”

Sven Dreesbach directed the video titled, “Shot on iPhone XS — The Reef, Maldives” with cinematographers, Carlos Vargas and himself. The footage was filmed using the Apple iPhone XS handset with the help of the Freefly Movi Cinema Robot, AxisGO Water Housing, Beastgrip, and FiLMiC Pro App.

Nomadic journeys of “Milo” and “Lucho”

Meanwhile, 2 endangered male whale sharks have returned to the waters off Isla Mujeres, Mexico – the same place they had gotten tagged last summer. The marine species were tagged in the fin with SPOT tags by Ch’ooj Ajauil AC director and marine biologist, Rafael de la Parra, while he swam with them underwater.

The sharks were named “Milo” and “Lucho”. Together, they combined migratory journeys of nearly 10,000 miles (16093.44 km.). Milo’s voyage is longer compared to that of Lucho’s based on the SPOT tags attached to their fins.

In 2018, a collaboration between Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) and the MWSRP suggested that whales sharks can live up to 130 years and might grow up to 61.7 feet. It is almost 17 ft. longer than a school bus and three-fold the size of a great white shark.

Conserving the environment with the help of technology, particularly with the use of gadgets and devices, will definitely make it easier for scientists to do their job. Likewise, allowing people to see these gentle creatures of the oceans will bring awareness to its life and activities and how to conserve them.


Maureen Santos

She lets everyone become aware of what is happening to our beloved planet Earth and its inhabitants. She can take you beyond the space and find out how neighbor planets are doing. Moreover, she would open your eyes to the things what makes the Earth suffer including the living species and allow you to decide what you can do to help save the planet and the future generation.

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