No doubt about it, Hanifaru Lagoon is one of nature's greatest marvels. We travelled to see the aggregating mantas and whale sharks there in August 2010, already knowing that the lagoon was under scrutiny. A victim of it's own success (so to speak) the number of divers and snorkellers arriving to see the animals was astounding.
We have to say we were delighted to be amongst them. In the four days we were there we saw untold numbers of mantas and several whalesharks. Unfortunately, there were as many people in the water as animals and the government decided to do something about it.
You can't dive in Hanifaru any longer, which we regard as a badly thought out decision as the snorkellers caused most of the problems. However, the minimal number of troublemakers will never outweigh the incredible experience of swimming with a seven metre long whaleshark.