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Time To Prioritise Marine And Coral Life In The Maldives

March 20, 2021 Resort News No Comments Email Email

Located in Lhaviyani Atoll, sister resorts Kudadoo Maldives Private Island and Hurawalhi Maldives’ mission is to preserve its coral reef ecosystem through the expertise of the Hurawalhi Marine Biology Centre – a dedicated centre led by the resort’s resident marine biologist, Aline Hess.

The two main projects are researching manta rays (on behalf of UK registered charity The Manta Ray Trust) and coral propagation on Hurawalhi’s house reef – and guests are invited to get involved.

Lhaviyani Atoll is home to a rich and varied marine life that includes the Maldives’ largest population of turtles and manta rays. The abundant coral reef that surrounds the resort hosts over 2,000 species of fish (including black reef tip sharks and eagle rays among others) and more than 200 species of coral.

The Marine Biology Centre and The Manta Trust collect data on the manta rays by taking images of their ventral surfaces (the underside of the mantas). Each manta ray is born with a unique spot pattern between their gill slits which can be used as a “fingerprint” to identify the individual mantas that make up the population.

In Lhaviyani Atoll around 380 individual mantas, so far, have been identified. Each manta ray is given its own identification number and most of them have also been given a name. The Maldives is home to over 4700 individual manta rays – the largest recorded reef manta ray population in the world. The coral propagation project on Hurawalhi’s house reef began in 2019. Aline Hess explains:

“Coral reefs are highly important ecosystems, responsible for our ocean’s and our planet’s health and are unfortunately facing a number of threats around the world. Coral bleaching events are becoming more frequent and the slow-growing hard corals have barely a chance to bounce back from so much stress. By starting our own coral nursery project, we are hoping to grow coral colonies to a size big enough to be resilient enough to be transplanted back onto the reef. Hopefully this will give us more insights on how to nurse corals best and what conditions are ideal for them to grow in.”

Aline is available to guide resort guests on snorkelling and diving trips and educate them about manta rays and promote sustainable tourism practices. Guests are welcome to stop by the Marine Biology Centre to learn more about the marine life which they can find right at the doorstep of their villas.

Kudadoo Maldives Private Island is an eco-resort bringing a new vision to sustainable luxury hotel design in the Maldives. Constructed in wood sourced from accredited sustainable suppliers, 1000 solar panels are also incorporated to fully power the island. Its sister resort, Hurawalhi, also sources much of its energy from solar panels on the island. Guests can go marine life spotting at 50 nearby dive sites, and dine alongside them too, at Hurawalhi’s underwater restaurant, 5.8, named after the number of metres it sits under the sea.

Travel forecasts suggest that the effects of the pandemic will see a rise in the conscious traveller. According to a report by Euronews and Globetrotter, “in the wake of the pandemic, people will be thinking far more carefully about the way they travel and will be seeking out hotels and companies that are doing everything they can to minimise their impact on the planet”.

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