On the occasion of International Whale Shark Day celebrated on the 30th August 2022, Reethi Beach Resort has partnered with Maldives Whale Shark Research Program (MWSRP) with the support extended by their parent company SC Capital Partners Pte Ltd, Singapore.
Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP) was founded with the mission of understanding the population dynamics of the whale sharks in the Maldives and how these fit into the species’ existence in the wider world. The charity’s objectives are to promote, for the benefit of the public, the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment of the whale shark and marine biological diversity.
Despite being the biggest fish in the ocean, the threats the whale shark faces today are many and almost entirely caused by human impact. It is difficult to quantify the exact number of whale sharks alive today, however their populations have fallen by 50% and are actively in decline.
The need for protection is on the rise as whale sharks contribute immensely towards managing our marine ecosystem. The nature-based motivation of conserving these species ultimately feed into the economic motivations for protecting them. The more economic value we, as a local society, see in protecting nature and its processes, the more the human race will benefit globally from a sustainable future. It is to note that whale shark tourism directly contributes to local livelihoods here in Maldives and provides an alternative income to fishing whale sharks and other sharks. As mentioned before, whale sharks play a role in balancing the marine ecosystem.
The reasons to protect whale sharks are clear and very beneficial for our livelihoods. The whale shark has been protected by law here in Maldives since 1995. Today stakeholders such as MWSRP through collaborative efforts from stakeholders similar to SC Capital Partners Pte Ltd and Reethi Beach Resort, community driven initiatives can work towards putting protection into practice and making it as efficient as possible.
As part of this partnership with MWSRF, SC Capital Partners Pte Ltd and Reethi Beach Resort will jointly sponsor the MWSRP to conduct intensive research in the famous Hanifaru Bay renowned for its Manta gathering and whale Shark aggregations. The partnership will also include sponsored educational trips for local young Maldivians to create both an awareness about marine biodiversity conservation as well as potential job opportunities. While being based at Fonimagoodhoo island due to the resorts close proximity to the only UNESCO Biosphere situated in Maldives, Reethi Beach Resort is delighted to be part of this program and further strengthening their stance on its commitment to sustainability in the hospitality industry and paving the way towards a more holistic approach towards upholding its core values on sustainability. The team from MWSRP will be supported by Ocean Fantics (a water sports and dive centre) based on the island, who will play a key role in the upcoming research project, in helping them navigate and collect data both on land and sea.
As one of the founding members of the Baa Atoll Project (“BAP”), which collaborates with resorts in Baa Atoll to discuss and address environmental issues collectively, Reethi Beach Resort hopes this initiative will act as the first in a chain of future initiatives that is also well supported by SC Capital Partners Pte Ltd.
SC Capital Partners Pte Ltd is committed to investing responsibly and meaningfully enhance and protect the value of their assets. They integrate ESG best practices into their operations and assets such as using energy, water and waste efficiently, generating renewable energy, and improving biodiversity conservation. Through adopting group sustainability practices, Reethi Beach Resort has also been awarded the Green Globe Certification.As part of the collaboration with MWSRP, along with Reethi Beach Resort, SC Capital extends its support beyond the Maldivian archipelago in globally supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2030.