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Say hi to Erica! Erica is a juvenile Olive Ridley turtle who lost a flipper due to ghost net entanglement and still battles with buoyancy problems (she is unable to dive below the surface of the water). As part of her recovery process Erica goes for swims out in the open ocean where she has more space to practise her swimming and can feel more comfortable in her natural environment. We hope to see Erica diving very soon ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ๐Ÿข๐Ÿ’™ . ๐Ÿ“ท . . .

Does | Size | Matter. Our beautiful suprise inhabitant was discovered at the beginning of March, quickly becoming a favourite in the MDC. The harlequin shrimp (Hymenocera picta) feeds exclusively on sea stars, of all shapes and sizes, all the way up to the crown of thorns, impressive giving the 6cm size of the shrimp. They use their plates like knives, slicing at a sea stars limbs. The sea star has the ability to detach its limb and regenerate, however sometimes the damage caused will be too severe for regeneration to occur. For the bigger species, the shrimp will flip the sea star, and eat feet first to the inner plate and for the crown of thorns sea stars, pairs have been observed 'riding' the star for months until fully consumed. Here, she is pictured sizing up a granulated sea star for what may be her next meal. ๐Ÿ“ธ: Hughes

CORAL BREEDING UPDATE! The survival rate of our coral colonies is at 78%. Most have shown a good rate of growth and an increased number of polyps. With this increased growth comes the need for additional food. We have noticed an increase in zooxanthellae concentration, as seen in this photo. The symbiotic algae of the corals, which produce about 90% of their food and give the coral polyp its color, can be seen here as green clusters within the transparent polyp. โ˜€๏ธ ๐ŸŒŠ ๐Ÿฝ ๐ŸŒณ ๐ŸŸ ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ป

We are making good progress with our Artificial Intelligence algorithms! They can now detect Pocillopora and Acropora colonies, as well as dead coral. Soon we will be able to use them to analyze our coral propagation program's success and provide useful insights to facilities conducting coral restoration!

TURTLE RESCUE ๐Ÿข - Yesterday, on our way to our daily snorkel activity we came across a female Olive Ridley turtle trapped in a fishing netโ—๏ธ Olive Ridley sea turtles are not a commonly seen species in the Maldives, however they are by far the most common species admitted into our rehabilitation centre. So how can a turtle that isnโ€™t typically found in the waters around here make up for so many of our admissions? The reason is...GHOST NETS. These discarded fishing nets float around the oceanโ€™s surface picking up victims along the way. Unfortunately Georgia here was one of these victims. The net caused lacerations to her front flippers, neck and plastron and she is unable to dive, because of this she will remain in care with us until her injuries are fully recovered ๐Ÿ’™ Thank you to the staff involved in the rescue for their help in getting this girl out of the net and to the centre ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ . . .

News from our Ocean pen! ๐ŸขChomper is diving๐Ÿข Chomper was rescued two years ago by Como Maalifushi (Thaa Atoll) and was sent to our centre in January 2018. Chomper was found entangled in a fishing net, he had buoyancy syndrome and was missing both of his right flippers. He does since have many difficulties in manoeuvring but he is making great improvments in our Ocean enclosure. We can see him resting at the bottom, escaping from danger and controlling his stabilization. Much better performances than his tankmates Frisbee&Taco looking at him from the surface. Visit our website .com to find more about our unreleasable patients and the "Flying Turtle" programme. Those three males Olive Ridley have great personality and are strong ambassadors of the fight against the ghost net threat.

Meet Ellie, our new intern at Landaa Giraavaruโ€™s Marine Discovery Centre. ๐Ÿ Ellie is from the UK and owns a Bachelor in Zoology from the University of Exeter. She specialised in marine biology through various internships, gaining experience in fish lab in Canada and in turtles rescue in Cyprus, where she worked with SPOT. Now it is our turn to be lucky and have her as a member of the team for three months. She already participated in two turtle releases as well as helping greatly on the coral restoration project and the excursions. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป As you can see here, she is even feeling confident enough to be training others herself: as it happens this lionfish is her first trainee. ๐Ÿ˜‰ You can learn more about her time with Marine Savers on our website: www.marinesavers/volunteers-interns-maldives-news/

What do you do when you have an extra day in the year? Use it to help the oceans of course! Yesterday our team at Kuda Huraa joined forces with to make the most of the extra day of the year. We visited a popular dive and snorkel site which is always bustling with TONS marine life, and cleaned it clear of trash! We found mainly fishing lines and some plastic bags๐Ÿ’” . . .

Coral reefs are one of the most important marine ecosystems as they support 25% of all marine species on the planet, making the work of the coral biologists here essential! Our marine biologists monitor the progress of our coral frames and itโ€™s great to see that these frames from 2017 are looking healthy and colorful! You can also see that they attract lots of species of fish, the humbug damsels are particularly a fan of the corals in this picture. We hope that all of our frames will be this successful over time!

On the 14th of February our rehabilitation centre got a call from our Tropic Surf team at Kuda Huraa and their guests. Two turtles, Alexia and Valentine, were found floating in a ghost net during a surf lesson. Our team responded to the call and the turtles arrived at our centre shortly after. Valentine had some slight buoyancy problems and minor abrasions from the ghost net. After only five days she regained the ability to dive and rest at the bottom of her pool and she was released!!! Alexia was not as lucky as Valentine and she is still under treatments. We expect to release her in the near future so stay tuned for updates!!! . . .

At the Marine Discovery Centre at Landaa Giraavaru, we just reached a very special milestone - our Sea Turtle rehabilitation centre has been open for 10 years. . The centre was set up in response to the declining sea turtle numbers in the Maldives and increasing threats that sea turtles are facing. Following the success of the first centre, our other sea turtle rehabilitation centre at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, was then opened in 2011. . In the 10 years that our centres have been open, we have admitted 272 turtles to our centres, resulting in 155 successful releases. To celebrate this milestone we have reached, we released two of our rehabilitated patients back to their ocean homes on the 18th February. . Lenny and Konna, a female Olive Ridley and a juvenile Hawksbill turtle, were found entangled in separate cement bags and ghost nets by our Four Seasons staff at Voavah (Four Seasons Private Island) on the 8th and 9th February 2020. Luckily neither turtles were too tightly entangled, s

Turtle encounters in a coral field are always exciting during our Explorer snorkels. Coral in the Maldives has been impacted by rising temperatures, which cause coral bleaching. As temperature continues to rise, the colorful backdrop behind these turtles continues to disappear. . . . . ๐Ÿ“ท

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