Founded in 1998, MEGAPTERA is a French association dedicated to the observation, understanding and protection of marine mammals and whale sharks.

Greater awareness of the wealth and specific nature of these populations in the Indian Ocean region, and also the lack of indicators relative to them, led to the MEGAPTERA initiative being put in place, with the following keywords: research, education and sustainable conservation.

Since 2004, MEGAPTERA and its partner TERIA have each year been studying the behaviour and movements of the whale sharks in the south-west of the Gulf of Tadjourah, off the coast of Djibouti, using photo-identification techniques and deploying beacons.




Nausicaá and Megaptera

The NAUSICAÁ team takes part in the research and whale shark preservation initiatives conducted by MEGAPTERA at the time of its expeditions. NAUSICAÁ was thus able to join two campaigns, in 2016 and 2017, that made it possible to attach beacons to some whale sharks off the coast of Djibouti, in Africa.

The latest campaign, organised in January 2020, allowed MEGAPTERA to pursue its research works in the field. This campaign benefitted from the support of Copromer Transports – Groupe Delanchy, NAUSICAÁ and its Endowment Fund, as well as of TERIA, MEGAPTERA’s historical partner for the whale shark study project.

NAUSICAÁ and its Endowment Fund are committed to raising funds for supporting these initiatives, and enhancing them to inform and raise the awareness of as many people as possible regarding the preservation of whale sharks.

You too can contribute to preserving whale sharks by making a donation dedicated to this initiative!




The whale shark is not only the largest fish in the world but also one of the least well-known. Harmless for humans, it is now in danger of extinction.

Starting from November and throughout the austral summer months, whale sharks gather along the coast of Djibouti in Africa, where there are concentrations of large amounts of plankton. For scientists, this offers a perfect opportunity for getting close to the animals to study them.



Harmless for humans, the whale shark mainly feeds on plankton, seaweed and microscopic animals that it absorbs through its wide mouth. This giant of the seas can measure up to 20 metres long and weigh as much as 34 tonnes!

By attaching beacons to them, the MEGAPTERA teams can collect precious data for better understanding these fascinating animals: migration, way of life, reproduction…