Coral crab Marine Savers Maldives

Coral crab, living in our small aquarium

Fish Lab & Aquaria -Marine Life in the Maldives

Clownfish Breeding

The ocellaris clownfish breeding pair has spawned for the first time in the display tank. We are monitoring closely and will attempt to harvest the larvae on hatching day (to avoid them being eaten).

Large Aquarium

The six-spot goby resident is healthy and active, and is effective at sand cleaning, so we hope to add a few more along with some cleaner wrasse. The Harlequin shrimp has had a hungry month, devouring our Sea Stars! As such, we will collect some new sea star specimens from the house reef, where they are abundant.

We have installed the new “Maxspect Jump Gyre 4K Flow” pumps, which resulted in an immediate improvement in water quality and circulation.

Plankton production

Algae and Artemia numbers have remained consistent during February. Plankton production started off well this month (peaking at 390/ml), but took a downward turn. We are aiming to recover the numbers over the coming weeks, hopefully after starting to use concentrated Nannochloropsis, which should improve all-round quality (water and rotifers) and remove the need for yeast.

Aquarium eggs from sea slug

Mystery egg spiral (possibly from a sea slug)

Aquarium - clark's anemonefish eggs

Clark’s anemonefish eggs

Small Aquarium One

  • Mini coral frame – the seven fragments remain healthy, and are encrusting over the cable ties.
  • The Maldivian clownfish (Amphiprion nigripes) – laid eggs twice this month.
  • A tiny (2.5mm) juvenile nudibranch (Doriopsis pecten) was spotted crawling on a soft coral. This species feeds exclusively on Terpios sponges (a known coral-killer).

Small Aquarium Two

  • Mini coral frame – healthy overall. A few fragments show signs of stress or mortality, but most of them are encrusting over the cable ties.
  • Clark’s anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkia) – laid eggs twice this month.
  • An egg spiral (thought to be from a sea slug) was spotted on the tank wall, and quickly devoured by the sea star!

Linckia multifora sea stars

  • SS3 (large specimen) – slow growth in all the arms. Energy seems to be focused towards the shorter arm that might be preparing to split again (upon reaching a suitable size).
  • SS4 (new Jan-21) – settled in and healthy.
Fish Lab light installation Maldives

New light installation in our Fish Lab

Jellyfish – Aurelia aurita

Our increased numbers of jellyfish (500+ individuals) in the large Kreisel tank started to negatively affect the water quality, so we immediately transferred 180 individuals back to the medium tank, but they sadly died. Later in the month, we experienced equipment failure and pump issues, resulting in the deaths of a further 85 individuals.

The remaining healthy jellies (471) are now in the main cylinder display, which is being deep cleaned every three weeks. We will investigate UV-sterilising equipment, to be able to return the tank to an open system.

REEFSCAPERS Coral Propagation & Reef Regeneration in the Maldives

Reefscapers coral frames Valentine hearts Maldives

Monthly Progress

During during February, we transplanted a total of 36 new Reefscapers coral frames in the lagoons at Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru.

On Valentine’s Day, we transplanted two special heart-shaped frames with Pocillopora, made by Kuda Huraa’s Dive Team (photo, bottom of page).

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.

Woodstock Presentation

On 24 February, Simon and Gaetan held a Zoom meeting with students and alumni of Woodstock School (India).

This session was designed to showcase the work conducted at the Marine Discovery Centre and included a tour of our facilities, some short educational videos, and a question-and-answer session.

The recorded Zoom call can be viewed here on YouTube (and embedded below).

Masters of disguise 🌊🙌 Octopusses are incredibly sneaky predators who can change the colour and texture of their skin ...

Posted by Reefscapers on Wednesday, 17 February 2021

This Valentine’s Day we spread our love in the best way we know how to....underwater! ❤️🤿🌊Yesterday the team at Kuda...

Posted by Marine Savers on Sunday, 14 February 2021

Sea Turtle Rescue & Conservation in the Maldives

Sea Turtle Rehabilitation

By the close of February, we were caring for 5 Olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) in our Rehabilitation Centre at Landaa. At Kuda Huraa, our totals were 2 Olive Ridleys, plus 22 rehabilitating hatchlings: 8 Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and 14 Hawksbills (Eretmochelys imbricata).

Flying Turtles

For transportation of our latest Flying Turtle, “April”, and her human minders, details are being finalised with the airline including: invoicing, schedules, shipping documentation, and public relations.

We have obtained the “No objection” clearance letter from the Maldives Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and applied for both the “CITEs export permit” and the “live animal export permit” from the Maldives Government.

We have reached out to the Maldives Marine Research Council (MRC) to obtain veterinary clearance, and Maldives Customs have been contacted to verify all our documentation is present and correct.

Maldives Sea Turtle Nest Protection

Of the 4 turtle nests on the island of Voavah, 2 hatched this month.

Nest #1 – hatched on 11 February (9 days after the predicted date). Of the total 85 eggs, 29 successfully hatched, 2 were dead in the nest, 16 were underdeveloped, and 38 were rotten.

Nest #2 – hatched on 20 February (1 day after the predicted date). Of the total 134 eggs, 125 successfully hatched, 1 was dead in the nest, and 8 were rotten. Watch our short video of a hatchling emerging.

Ocean Turtle Enclosure – Read the full story

Varu‘s  ‘buoyancy syndrome’ started to improve (she was siting lower in the water) so she was transferred out to our ocean enclosure. Here, she started diving for brief periods after just one day, and then after 2 weeks she was able to dive to the bottom for food, and remain submerged for long periods… very promising!

Thari was transferred to the sea enclosure (a less stressful environment), but she did not start eating, and sadly passed away the following week (cause of death unknown).

Maldivian Sea Turtle Identification Program

During February, we received 7 submissions from the public to our Sea Turtle ID project. Our current database catalogues 5,000 photographic sightings, and to date has positively identified and named a total of: 1283 Hawksbills, 270 Greens and 98 Olive Ridleys.

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

Turtle in our ocean enclosure
Turtle ID Maldives photo submissions Hawksbill male

Do you remember Allegra? She is a juvenile hawksbill turtle that Marine Savers released in 2018 after she received...

Posted by Four Seasons Resorts Maldives on Tuesday, 2 February 2021
Junior Marine Savers activities

Further News & Updates

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

Looking for details of our coral propagation programme ?

Head over to our Reefscapers Diaries for all the latest updates.

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

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

Junior Marine Savers activities

Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science! 🎊 --> Swipe right to meet some of our incredible women! At...

Posted by Reefscapers on Thursday, 11 February 2021

Our Unreleasable Turtle Residents

Our Current Turtle Patients

Our Juvenile Turtle Patients

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