Speaker of the People’s Majilis Mohamed Nasheed Visits Diamonds Thudufushi Marine lab. Mr Nasheed is an environmental activist and also the founder of Maldivian Coral Institute. During his visit, he learned about the latest research and educational activities conducted by the University of Milano- Bicocca & MaRHE Center across Planhotel properties. During the tour of the newly established marine lab, the marine biology team was able to demonstrate the various tools used to engage guests in coral reef science.
The marine biology team was able to demonstrate the various tools used to engage guests in coral reef science including the coral adoption programme or a virtual reality tour through coral nurseries and the technologies used to conduct DNA analysis. They further discussed the latest developments in coral restoration research with the marine research manager, Dr Inga Denhert.
During the visit to Thudufushi, Mr Nasheed and Dr Inga had the opportunity to explore the healthy house reef and restored coral garden. This area was impacted by the 2016 mass coral bleaching event but now boasts over 180 healthy coral frames. The older frames are now fully overgrown with corals, making them barely recognizable and providing a vital habitat for various marine species. Additionally, Mr Nasheed personally hand-bound the first two volumes of MCI’s “Coral Studies of the Maldives” series, which were gratefully received by the Marine Lab.
The Thudufushi coral conservation project was launched in 2015, before the catastrophic mass bleaching in 2016. The first adopted frame was put into the water on 10.7.2015. Since then, Planhotel Marine Labs have developed their coral conservation efforts further by facilitating coral reef restoration research conducted by MaRHE Center. This led to the first regional scientific evaluation and publications of best restoration practices, providing useful information for restoration practitioners in the Maldives.