Turtle lagoon enclosure Marine Savers Maldives

Our large turtle rehabilitation enclosure, out in the lagoon at Landaa Giraavaru

2020 Marine Round-up

While much of the world ground to a halt during 2020, our resident team of marine biologists in the Maldives carried on looking after the turtle patients and hatchlings admitted to our turtle rescue centres. We continue to protect the ocean’s most diverse and complex ecosystems – the coral reefs – which are crucial to the welfare of the marine habitats around our Resorts’ lagoon. This, in addition, to focusing on pioneering research … as the more we know, the more we can help to protect.

Some Marine Savers (and Manta Trusthighlights during 2020:

  • 93 injured turtles were rescued from around the Maldives, and admitted to our sea turtle rehabilitation centres (adults and hatchlings).
  • 37 of these rescue turtles were successfully rehabilitated and safely released back into the wild.
  • We released one turtle, Shakti, with a satellite tracking device. She transmitted for 105 days and travelled 5664 km.
  • 245 new coral frames were planted around our Resorts’ lagoons, the equivalent of 13,000 individual coral fragments.
  • Coral Spawning was observed from colonies on our coral frames in the house reef around Landaa Giraavaru on 5 November.
  • 280 new Spinner dolphins, 80+ Bottlenose and 3 Pilot whales were uniquely identified from our photographs.
  • 4 new turtle nests were discovered across our Resorts, including one on the Island Spa isle in Kuda Huraa.
  • The Manta Trust (MMRP) recorded a new juvenile male in Hanifaru Bay, officially marking 5,000 identified manta ray individuals!
  • An estimated 4,600 reef mantas were encountered in Baa Atoll (a 4% increase from 2019).
  • We sighted 11 different whale shark individuals; 4 were new to the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme’s database.

Fish Lab & Marine Aquaria

Clownfish Breeding

We are waiting for our newly collected Maldivian and Clark’s anemonefish breeding pairs to acclimatise and to start spawning. Currently, the only spawning events are happening in the main tank (with the eggs being consumed shortly afterwards).

Large marine aquarium at Landaa (new lighting)

Our 4000L marine aquarium at Landaa Giraavaru, now with a new lighting system

Plankton production

During January, we experienced an unexplained sudden mass mortality of our plankton species, so we are currently recovering our populations of Rotifer and Artemia.

The Artemia hatch rate is much higher using overnight saltwater hydration, eliminating the need for a ‘day 2’ bottle.

Small Aquarium One

  • Mini coral frame – fragments healthy and are encrusting.
  • The Maldivian anemonefish laid one batch of eggs this month.

Small Aquarium Two

  • Mini coral frame – overall healthy, with a few fragments showing signs of stress.
  • Clark’s anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkia) – laid 2 batches of eggs this month.

Linckia multifora sea stars

  • SS3 (large specimen) – no significant growth (although it has been eating the Clownfish eggs).
  • SS4 (new Jan 2021) – introduced to replace SS1.
Sea star Linckia multifora

Jellyfish – Aurelia aurita

Our Fish Lab jellyfish are continuing to grow, and we now have two full tanks. We decided to combine the remaining Kreisel tanks (medium and large) into one tank, and perform water changes daily. Thanks to the UV steriliser, our large Kreisel tank experiences very slow algal growth, only requiring a single 100% water change each month (with a 15L water change every other day, and regular skimming).

For 1 week during January, we experienced poor water quality due to the use of frozen Artemia, and we lost 85 jellies possibly due to overcrowding (at one stage, we had over 500 individuals in the 85L Kreisel tank).

REEFSCAPERS Coral Propagation Program

Reefscapers close-up Acropora coral polyps

Close-up of Acropora coral polyps

Monthly Progress

During January, we transplanted 24 new coral frames at Landaa, and 10 at Kuda Huraa.

We have also been developing an inhouse software program to display the data generated by our Artificial Intelligence analysis of our large database of coral frames.

Check out our Reefscapers Diary for further details and all our latest photographs, including updates on our autonomous catamaran and coral identification project that uses bespoke artifical intelligence.

This year has certainly been very special and challenging for everyone but when we look back, we still transplanted...

Posted by Reefscapers on Friday, 1 January 2021
AI software data analysis coral propagation reef regeneration

Sea Turtle Conservation

Turtle lagoon enclosure Marine Savers Maldives
Turtle lagoon enclosure Marine Savers Maldives

Ocean Enclosure

The net was replaced, and the new shading installed, ready for the careful introduction of one or more of our rehabilitating turtles. Our large oceanic enclosure enables the turtle patients to develop and improve their swimming and diving skills, necessary before release back into the wild. Read the full story of our ocean enclosure.

Rescue and Rehabilitation

By the close of January, we were caring for 6 Olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) in our Rehabilitation Centre at Landaa.

At Kuda Huraa, our totals were 2 Olive Ridleys, plus 25 rehabilitating hatchlings: 8 green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and 17 Hawksbills (Eretmochelys imbricata). We also waved a <<bon voyage>> to Toby, who had been under our care for 18 months.

Flying Turtles

Plans are on schedule for our “unreleasable” rescue turtle “April” to fly to a new permanent overseas home during the month of April 2021 as part of our ongoing Flying Turtles program. We are working with the aquarium to finalise the CITES import permit, to arrange transport logistics (Turkish Airlines) and to complete all the relevant Maldives government paperwork (EPA, Customs, Ministry of Fisheries & Agriculture).

Maldivian Sea Turtle Identification Program

Turtle photographs are kindly sent to us from members of the public, fellow marine biologists and dive centres stationed at other resorts around the Maldives. Our current database has identified 1270 Hawksbills, 267 Greens and 98 Olive Ridleys to date, with more than 4900 photographic sightings.

Submissions consist of close-up photographs of the turtle facial profile, enabling us to outline the unique pattern of scales (scutes) that act like a human fingerprint.

Spotted a turtle?  Share your photos

Junior Marine Savers Maldives kids activities

Junior Marine Savers – children taking part in educational activities at our Marine Discovery Centres, learning about turtle care and anatomy

Remember Allegra, the juvenile hawksbill turtle we released in 2018? We just spotted her for the first time since 2018,...

Posted by Marine Savers on Sunday, 24 January 2021
Junior Marine Savers activities

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 Diary for all the latest updates.

You can see how your sponsored frame grows by viewing our photo updates every 6 months, as part of our unique Coral Frame Collection.

Junior Marine Savers photos: (1) Transplanting a Reefscapers coral frame; (2) feeding turtle hatchlings.

Junior Marine Savers activities

Apart from being the most graceful and majestic fish in the ocean, manta rays are also highly intelligent and have the...

Posted by Reefscapers on Monday, 4 January 2021

Meet the Longnose Hawkfish! These carnivorous fish love to perch on black coral near water currents where they wait for...

Posted by Reefscapers on Wednesday, 13 January 2021

While much of the world was coming to a halt in 2020, our resident team of marine biologists and researchers carried on...

Posted by Four Seasons Resorts Maldives on Friday, 8 January 2021

Did you know that male green chromis eat their unhatched eggs!? 🐟 When these beautiful, blue green fish are breeding,...

Posted by Reefscapers on Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Magazine interview with Simon, our very own MDC Manager, coral expert, and all-round marine conservation champ. 💙

Posted by Marine Savers on Wednesday, 6 January 2021

2021 is starting out right! Our team at Kuda huraa has had a lucky first week of the year - from spotting manta rays on...

Posted by Marine Savers on Saturday, 9 January 2021

Our Unreleasable Turtle Residents

Our Current Turtle Patients

Our Turtle Hatchling Patients

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