Despite of a great diversity of underwater world, there are only a few dangerous fishes at the Maldives, and history knows only a few accidents of fish attack to a human.
There are about 26 types of sharks including tiger and hammerhead shark which can be dangerous to people. Though they prefer to live in the open ocean and don’t come inside the atoll. There are about 26 types of sharks including tiger and hammerhead shark which can be dangerous to people. Though they prefer to live in the open ocean and don’t come inside the atoll. In coastal waters you can meet a few kinds of reef shark like black-tip sharks, white-tip sharks, nurse sharks and baby-sharks which are not dangerous for humans. From May to November it’s possible to meet giant whale sharks here, world famous highlight of Baa atoll, which attracts many divers and underwater photographers to this area every year. Sharks inhabit in warm waters of Maldives are quite peaceful and, unless you try to disturb them, prefer to swim away from you rather than to attack.
However, some animals and fishes could be harmful for snorkellers and divers.
Lion fish, which you can meet even at home reef of Kamadhoo island, are very beautiful with their striped dorsal and pectoral fins, but they have sharp poisonous spines. Keep the distance of 2,5 meters from this fish. If you come too close it would fly to you and inject its venom in your body which causes strong pain. However it is usually very calm and can be dangerous only if you disturb it.
More dangerous and rare is a stone fish, which is hard to find as it looks similar to dead coral. They have a row of sharp spines which they use in a case of a danger and can easily pierce your foot if you step on it by accident. Usually they just lie quietly on the corals waiting for their prey. Though they are very rare and not interested in humans, we recommend you to avoid touching corals and not step on them for your own safety.
Many kind of stingrays (except manta) has a jagged spine on its tail, which can be used in case of self-defense. Stingrays live in lagoons, sometimes they camouflage as sand and you can only see its tail. Don’t touch these beautiful animals, for your and their safety: you can remove the protective mucous membrane from their body and parasites can easily attack them.
The moray eel is easy to find while snorkeling at Kamadhoo home reef. It’s a very calm fish, usually siting in corals with its head outside, but in case of danger or, if your fingers considered as food, it could bite you with its powerful jams and sharp teeth. Like a sting ray they have good vision - if you see it, it most probably sees you.
The triggerfish can attack you if you are too close to its nest where its eggs released. If it starts swimming and assuming a horizontal position, you must immediately leave as this fish is not afraid of humans and can bite with its big and powerful teeth.
Surgeon fish is very popular inhabitant of coral reefs (remember that funny fish Dori, friend of Nemo from cartoon?). There are many kinds and colors of them, but they all have same bony plaques and blades on their tails, which are very sharp. However they are very friendly and never attack humans.
Be careful with sea urchins as its spikes are razor sharp and if you step on them by chance - it is really painful. The spike is a very weak substance, it is very difficult to take it out as it splits into pieces. However sea urchins near Kamadhoo island are very rare.
The list above may be not complete, but remember the golden rules of safety while snorkeling or diving - don’t touch and stand on corals, keep the distance between you and animals, don’t bother and don’t feed them. If you see any strange animals behavior - you’d better slowly go away. It will guarantee your safety and enjoyable experience of underwater world of the Maldives!