- Algae – culture is consistently cycling
- Artemia – production is keeping up with the demand of the main tank at 4.5g of cysts a day
- Rotifers – volume has recovered completely after last month’s drop, and is consistent in concentration
- Copepods – on 11 July, we established our very first copepod culture, which continues to develop and stabilise. Concentration is gradually increasing, and we may need two buckets in the coming weeks, allowing for more damselfish breeding
Jellyfish – Aurelia aurita
All mature jellyfish continue to thrive in our large display Kreisel cylinder. The small Kreisel jellyfish were unfortunately lost due to issues with water changes, so we started a new strobilation that should be ready for collection in September.
Seaweed Mariculture – edible sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca)
We are making progress with our experiments into seaweed mariculture (marine farming). Our new starter culture of edible sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca) has arrived, and is now getting established in the large outdoor tank. We have made a fertiliser drip-feeder to maintain good nutrient levels, and installed the new shade to reduce over-heating (while allowing sufficient sunlight for good growth).
Anemone Asexual Reproduction
The aim of our new project is to reproduce several species of host anemones and integrate specimens onto the house reef to create a ‘soft coral garden’. This will present a healthier biodiverse ecosystem, and provide hosts for various species of Crustaceans, Pomacentrids and Thallasids.
We have started a preliminary trial on asexual reproduction of the anemone Entimacea quadricolor. Akin to Scleractinians, anemones can also be fragmented into smaller sister colonies. Precise incisions through the oral disc and pedal disc of the test anemone have yielded two healthy sister anemones with a reformed mouth, providing them with full feeding functionality.
Megafauna and Marine Life in the Maldives
At Landaa, our Marine Discovery Immersion Tour was enjoyed by 67 guests during August, and a total of 638 bookings were taken for the 49 excursions guided by our team members.
At Kuda Huraa, a total of 405 bookings were made for our guided marine excursions, including the Dolphin Cruise and numerous adventure snorkel trips. This month, we launched a new guest excursion, ‘Shark & Ray Snorkel’, to get up close and personal with some of the ocean’s most majestic fishes, rays and sharks. Our accompanying marine presentation is entitled ‘Close Encounters’, as we seek to alleviate fears of swimming with sharks, and encourage our guests to swim safely with, interact and understand them. We have coincided this with the start of the Four Seasons ‘Championship Surf Trophy’ here at Kuda Huraa. Many professional surfers don’t see eye to eye with sharks, so we wish to highlight the serene, peaceful nature of sharks and foster a newfound understanding and fascination for these misunderstood marine creatures.
This month’s 31 diving excursions gave us abundant megafauna sightings, including nurse sharks (Nebrius ferrugineus), white tip reef sharks (Triaenodon obesus), and black tip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus). We also encountered healthy populations of pink whip rays (Pateobatis fai) and plentiful manta rays.