Become a marine conservationist for a day at Angsana Ihuru
Maldives.net.mv – Encircled by a beautiful coral reef and crystal clear water, Angsana Ihuru is famous for its dive sites teeming with vibrant sea life. With global climate change, the Maldives face rising sea levels in addition to issues such as over fishing. Angsana Ihuru is proud to be at the forefront of protecting the Indian Ocean’s sensitive eco-system; and, under the guidance of renowned Marine Biologist, Dr. Steven Newman, guests can now play their part to save the planet, enriching their stay with a hands-on experience of marine conservation.
Led by a team of expert marine biologists, the resort has developed a special conservation programme allowing guests to learn about the ocean environment through a diverse range of activities. These include protecting sea turtles and rebuilding delicate coral reef systems to collecting vital research data as part of the resort’s new ‘Citizen Scientist Programme’.
Wannabe-marine conservationists who take part in the programme will play an important role in helping the resort’s conservation team to monitor changes in the reefs and marine environment. The experience begins with an educational briefing at the resort’s Marine Centre, where guests are introduced to the fascinating underwater world of the Maldives as well as the research and restoration work conducted by the conservation team. After this, snorkellers and divers are provided with easy-to-use, waterproof guides to which they can record sightings of various marine life including sharks, rays and turtles, groupers and butterfly fish. The data collected is then taken back to the Marine Centre and used to monitor the health of the ocean as part of the wider study by the team.
The programme is free of charge to guests and is headed up by Dr. Steven Newman: “Citizen Science has been around for over a hundred years, but it is only recently becoming commonplace. Anyone from any walk of life with any level of interest in the environment can take part. It’s not only fun, but participants learn more about what they see in the water, and the information they help gather is critical to our understanding and conservation of the ocean.”
Guests can also get involved with the conservation of green sea turtles, endangered due to poaching of their eggs; which nest on nearby Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru. This resort has implemented a number of measures to ensure the turtles continue to nest and breed in the area. Its Turtle Head-Start Programme means approximately 10% of hatchlings are reared at the resort for the first year of their life before being released (at a larger size) into the wild, giving the island’s most famous residents a higher chance of survival. Guests have the opportunity to work alongside the Marine Laboratory team by monitoring the turtles’ growth, attending daily feeding sessions and releasing them into the wild.
In addition, guests can plant and grow their own coral. The azure waters surrounding Angsana Ihuru are home to delicate coral reefs, providing an important habitat for a huge variety of marine life. By assisting in cleaning the coral as well rebuilding the reef by growing and transplanting coral fragments, resilient and life-giving coral gardens are created.
The resort is also home to revolutionary electric reefs, introduced to encourage coral growth. Two steel structures have been submerged onto the seabed, each fed with a low voltage that triggers a chemical reaction, leading to a deposit of calcium carbonate. This increases the speed at which corals grow, as well as protects them from higher water temperatures threatening coral reefs globally.
Perfect for the whole family, kids can become a marine conservationist for the day too, with a host of educational and engaging activities to keep them occupied, from helping the marine biologists transplant coral to visiting the Marine Laboratory and learning to snorkel on the house reef.
The ‘Live For Adventure’ package at Angsana Ihuru is available from USD 790 per night in a Beachfront Villa and includes:
- Night Fishing
- Unlimited non-motorised water sports once during the stay
- Sunset cruise
- Discover Scuba diving for two The package is available until December 2015 and a minimum five night stay is required.