Aquarium jellyfish Marine Savers Maldives

Rust-spotted guard crab – Trapezia rufopunctata

Fish Lab & Aquaria -Marine Life in the Maldives

Down in our Fish Lab, we have maintained steady food production of rotifers, artemia and algae during May. Progress has been made on the new plankton survey project, and our Clownfish breeding pairs have started to lay eggs again.

Clownfish Breeding

We have started to see spawning from our Clownfish breeding pair in tank #3. The eggs were few and of low quality, but it is a promising start.

Plankton Production

  • Our rotifer numbers have been steadily climbing, and we are due to start harvesting for use in the coral bleaching experiment and feeding the main tank. This will allow us to monitor the rotifer production to see if harvesting increases growth as indicated by the feed manufacturer (keeping the population between 3-5 days old, which is when they are most reproductive).
  • We have continued the same method of hatching artemia, with consistent results. We are hydrating an additional 2g of cysts twice weekly, to freeze as cubes for the juvenile jellyfish medusae.
  • Our Nannochloropsis algae cultures continue to thrive, with changes required every four days and little waste at the end. We are keeping two of each culture volume all the way through, and leaving the 100L containers to run for eight days each.

Zooplankton Study

While waiting for our final kit shipment to arrive (nets, flow-metre, microscope, scales) we have been restructuring the Fish Lab to better accommodate our new plankton research station (housing the dehydrator, splitter, and nets). With the kind assistance of the Resort engineering team, we have constructed our own Motodo splitter (saving $600+).

With valuable input from Hannah (Manta Trust), we have also drafted protocols for: (1) the safe use of formalin, and (2) plankton sampling. These will be reviewed by our overseas mentors at MBA [UK] (Dave Conway) and CSIRO [AUS] (Dr Anthony Richardson and Frank Coman).

Small Aquarium One

On 12 May, some of the resident corals started to pale, and there was an increase in algal growth during the first half of the month. One of the Mushroom coral specimens appeared stressed and bleached, and its health has been deteriorating (presenting discoloration and tissue loss). Slight bleaching is also present in the Porites specimens.

  • Mini coral frame – one fragment died, and another was detached (likely by the feeding crabs); the remaining fragments are healthy.
  • Maldivian clownfish (Amphiprion nigripes) breeding pair – no updates.

Small Aquarium Two

Paling was also seen in some of the resident corals (species of Goniopora and Porites), and there was an increase in algal growth.

  • Mini coral frame – two of the recently attached fragments have bleached; the remaining fragments are healthy.
  • Clark’s anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkia) breeding pair – laid eggs three times this month (which were eaten by aquarium inhabitants within three days).

Linckia multifora sea stars

  • SS3 (large specimen) – the two shorter arms have grown.
  • SS4 (new Jan 21) – healthy and active, but with no increase in size.

Jellyfish – Aurelia aurita

In early May, the stormy weather caused a power outage in the Fish Lab, cutting off the water circulation to our jellyfish tanks. Unfortunately we saw significant mortalities, however, the survivors quickly recovered and are now thriving again.

In the main jellyfish cylinder (now empty), we have introduced a new Purple jellyfish (Pelagia noctiluca) specimen that had been spotted in the lagoon close to the main jetty.

Strobilation is defined as asexual reproduction by transverse division of the body segments which develop into separate individuals.

Fish Lab aurelia jellyfish Landaa Giraavaru Maldives

our Aurelia jellyfish survivors are thriving again

REEFSCAPERS Coral Propagation & Reef Regeneration in the Maldives

Monthly Progress

At Landaa during May, we monitored a total of 669 coral frames around the island, and transplanted 18 new frames (6 sponsored by guests, 11 by the Resort, 1 online).
We are also trialing a new stainless steel frame tag (photo).

At Kuda Huraa, we transplanted 5 new coral frames. We also needed to relocate 140 existing frames, to protect them from shifting sands disturbed by the seasonal Cyclone Tauktae which was unusually powerful.

Bleaching Alerts – The NOAA coral bleaching alerts system categorised Maldives in “Watch/Warning” status for May-June. Currently, we have started to observe some corals bleaching, paling and fluorescing, both on the natural reefs and our coral frames.

Large photo (towards bottom of page): ‘massive’ coral Favia sp.

Check out our Reefscapers Diary for further details and photographs about coral bleaching in Maldives.

Reefscapers new tag numbering

Sea Turtle Rescue & Conservation

Plastic pollution ingested by sea turtle Maldives (Amie)

On 3 May, after 1 month of care and treatment for plastic ingestion, Amie was successfully released back into the ocean.

Sea Turtle Rehabilitation

At the close of May, we were caring for 7 Olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) and 1 Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) in our Rehabilitation Centre at Landaa. At Kuda Huraa, our turtle patients include 2 rescued Olive Ridleys, plus our rehabilitating hatchlings: 5 Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and 7 Hawksbills.

Flying Turtles

With the global pandemic restrictions slowly lifting, we have restarted discussions with several of our long-term overseas partners, who are interested in housing our non-releasable turtle patients as part of our Flying Turtle initiative.

Sea Turtle Strandings and Entanglements

With the monsoon seasons changing, there is a greater chance of sea turtle strandings and entanglements around the Maldives. But when does a sea turtle actually need assistance? Check out our helpful infographic (Instagram) for guidance on what to do!

Please keep your eyes out for entangled turtles, and please do not hesitate to reach out to us on any of our social platforms for more information!

Maldivian Sea Turtle Identification Program

During May, we received 8 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: 1304 Hawksbills, 273 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 ID Maldives photo submissions Hawksbill male
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 Reefscapers coral propagation and reef restoration program ?

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

You can view your sponsored frame photographs (updated every 6 months) as part of our Maldives resorts Coral Frame Collection.

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

Junior Marine Savers activities
Junior Marine Savers Kuda Huraa corals & crafts
Junior Marine Savers Kuda Huraa corals & crafts

Our Unreleasable Turtle Residents

Our Current Turtle Patients

Our Juvenile Turtle Patients

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