Marine Savers staff portrait photos by FSRM 2019 (3b) LAB

Aerial photographs of Reefscapers coral frames, arranged in a geometric pattern at Kuda Huraa water villas

Fish Lab & Marine Aquaria

Fish Breeding

We had a disappointing month for Clownfish breeding, without any new developing larvae. We’ve observed a lower rate of hatching, and a high mortality within the first two days; to improve egg health, we will feed our breeding pairs with higher enrichment omega-3, S.presso and krill.

Also, our new flying fish have been an exciting feature in the aquarium, providing great intrigue to guests and staff alike. It was very interesting to witness the different growth stages, including initial metamorphosis, development of pectoral and anal fins, sequential elongation of pectoral fins, and variation in colouring and pattern within the population of hatched individuals.

Fish lab – flying fish juvenile at 2.1cm

Flying fish juvenile (2.1cm) in our Fish Lab

Flying fish that jumped aboard NOAH (6137)

Archive photo of an adult flying fish that had inadvertently jumped aboard our boat (before being released)

Starfish regenerating from a single arm (Linckia laevigata)

Starfish (Linckia sp.) regeneration in Feb (left) and March (right)

Our original regenerating starfish (Linckia) was measured this month; part of the original arm has become independent and detached from the body (for reasons unknown) at 44mm in length. The four regenerated arms are continuing to grow.

Sea Turtle Conservation

National Marine Sea Turtle Identification Project

Photo submissions consist of close-up photographs of the turtle facial profile, which has a unique identifiable pattern in each individual (like human fingerprints).

During March, we received 15 photo submissions from around the Maldives, from which we positively identified 9 new Hawksbill turtles (plus 5 re-sightings) and 1 new Green turtle (plus 1 re-sighting). (Photo: Hawksbill #EI1134).

This brings our database totals of uniquely identified individuals to 1134 Hawksbills 194 Greens. A big THANK YOU to all our contributors. 🙂

Spotted a turtle?  Submit your photos

Turtle ID - Green Turtle CM186 at Medhufaru, South Male Maldives

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Strandings

During March, we received more than 20 different phone calls to alert us of strandings of Olive Ridley turtles. We admitted 13 new patients into our Centres (a record month), transferred some turtles to other Centres, and sadly more than 4 were found already dead, entangled in ghost nets (discarded fishing gear).

In the Maldives there are two monsoon seasons:

  • Halhangu’ runs from May to October (wind blows from SW, ocean current comes from the West), and
  • Iruvai’ from November to April (wind blows from NE, ocean current comes from the East).
Olive Ridley turtle strandings by month (2010-2019)

Ocean currents during Iruvai (above) and both seasons (right)

Olive Ridley turtle strandings by month (2010-2019)
Olive Ridley turtle strandings by month (2010-2019)

Most turtle strandings in the Maldives are recorded during January to April

Reefscapers coral frames – Kuda Huraa water villa flower site

Further News & Updates

You might also be interested in our Dolphin ID Project, and our Sea Turtle Enclosure out in the lagoon at Landaa.

Looking for details of our coral propagation programme ?

Head over to our Reefscapers 2019 Diary for all the latest updates.

You can sponsor your own dedicated Coral Frame, and then see how it grows in the future by viewing the photo updates every 6 months, as part of our Coral Frame Collection.

Left: Reefscapers coral frames at Kuda Huraa water villas.
Right: Junior Marine Savers learn the importance of corals.

junior Marine Savers at Kuda Huraa
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