Marine Discovery Centre at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru Opens
28 April 2010 – Now open, the Marine Discovery Centre at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru is an interactive research and education centre designed to teach guests and locals about the underwater world of the Maldives and the Resort’s efforts to conserve it. To educate its visitors, the centre uses multi-language touch screen video kiosks, dramatic photography, exhibition boards, educational talks, life-size models and interaction with marine biologists. Windows are covered in underwater images, creating the impression of being amongst a giant shoal of fish. The centre also has a dedicated children’s section with a “touch tank” and various interactive activities.
The Resort’s coral propagation project is one of the world’s most successful, having transplanted more than 60,000 fragments of coral between 2005 and 2009 alone. It is our hope that the project’s ground-breaking clone selection research will lay the foundation for the use of coral frames to help protect reefs against global warming worldwide.
Maldivian Manta Ray Project
Landaa Giraavaru is home to the Maldives’ only full-time manta ray research project. Founded by the Resort’s resident marine biologistGuy Stevens and with the support of Four Seasons and Save Our Seas, the program has amassed the largest number of identified manta rays on record anywhere in the world, combining new discoveries with active conservation and education.
This program strives to cultivate a sustainable aquaculture of ornamental fish. Our long-term goal is to develop an alternative source of income for local communities that can cultivate and market the fish.
Other exhibitions feature whale sharks, dolphins, whales and turtles.
About marine conservation at Four Seasons
Marine conservation programmes at Four Seasons Resort Maldives date back to 2001 when Seamarc Pvt. Ltd – a local environmental consultancy – was enlisted to help save coral colonies around Four Seasons Resort Kuda Huraa . Seamarc’s founder, French-educated oceanographer Thomas Le Berre, is now into his tenth year of working with Four Seasons in the Maldives. During this time, the Resorts’ marine initiatives have expanded dramatically, withFour Seasons Resort Landaa Giraavaru now flourishing as the most active centre of marine research and education in the Maldives.
In 2009, the Maldivian government’s Atoll Ecosystem Conservation Project proposed that the Baa Atoll be made a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. If successful, this will be the first UNESCO designation in the Maldives. One of the core areas for the reserve will be the manta and whale shark feeding area around Hanifaru, an island just 20 minutes from Landaa Giraavaru and the epicentre of manta ray research.