Carpe Diem Maldives initiates Rescue a Reef programme with October marine expedition

Carpe Diem Maldives has expanded its ongoing collaboration with American environmental organisation Coral Reef CPR with the launch of its official CSR programme, Rescue a Reef.

Taking a concerted approach towards protecting and restoring the health of coral reefs and marine life in the Maldives, the Rescue a Reef programme invites guests to join marine expeditions on Carpe Diem’s liveaboard adventure cruises, and encourages guest donations to support Coral Reef CPR’s work.

Managing Director of Carpe Diem Maldives Amir Mansoor said, in a statement: “In our collaboration over the last 18 months, I’ve experienced first-hand how the marine biologists from Coral Reef CPR identify early on when nature is out of balance, investigate to find out the cause using their expertise and laboratory tests, and then implement scientific methods to help restore that balance, making it more robust for future events. Their methodology and scientific knowledge are among several reasons why Carpe Diem Maldives enjoys a productive collaboration with Coral Reef CPR, and we whole-heartedly support their HARP programme – Holistic Approach To Reef Protection.”

Carpe Diem Maldives Managing Director Amir Mansoor. PHOTO/ CARPE DIEM MALDIVES

Coral Reef CPR’s Chief Scientist Dr Andrew Bruckner said: “We’re thrilled at this long term commitment from Carpe Diem Maldives. It is always wonderful when a company responsibly embraces a pro-active approach to environmental protection and conservation. Engaging with their guest divers over the last year is inspiring for us as we believe that education is at the forefront of successful coral reef conservation. Raising awareness on the critical importance of reefs and tangible actions that can be taken to ensure that these ecosystems continue to support the abundance of marine life and provide benefits to humans, is key to the future of the Maldives.”

Coral Reef CPR’s Chief Scientist Dr Andrew Bruckner. PHOTO/ CARPE DIEM

To officially launch the Rescue a Reef initiative, Carpe Diem Maldives will host its third marine expedition with Coral Reef CPR’s returning marine biologists Dr Bruckner and Georgia Coward in October. The week-long expedition will target the house reef and surrounding areas of the company’s current resort development in Raa atoll.

“During our surveys of Raa and Baa Atoll we’ve seen an abnormally high number of cushion starfish. This is a concern, because these animals target juvenile cauliflower (Pocillopora) and staghorn (Acropora) corals, and these are the corals that are critical for a speedy recovery from last year’s bleaching event,“ Dr Bruckner explained.

Culcita near Acropora. PHOTO/ CARPE DIEM MALDIVES

From October 22-29, up to 20 recreational divers with an Advanced PADI qualification can join Dr Bruckner and his team of researchers as they conduct a Cushion Starfish removal from reefs in Raa atoll, carry out quantitative reef surveys and data analysis, while enjoying Carpe Diem’s hospitality on board Carpe Vita liveaboard cruise.

Priced at USD 700 per person for the week, the October trip includes:

  • Seven nights aboard Carpe Vita vessel
  • Three meals daily, plus snacks in between dives
  • Up to four dives daily (except for on the day of arrival and day before departure) including one or two night dives
  • Use of tanks, weights and belts
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Airport transfers on the days of embarkation and disembarkation
  • Evening workshops on marine ecology, coral reef importance, marine life and more
  • On-board marine biologists
  • GST at 12 percent

According to Carpe Diem Maldives, to support the work of Coral Reef CPR, an additional contribution of USD 150 per person will be added to the final bill, payable before or at the end of the trip.

The Carpe Vita luxury cruiser. PHOTO/ CARPE DIEM MALDIVES

The first collaboration between Carpe Diem Maldives and Coral Reef CPR saw a dedicated COTS removal expedition in May, involving 17 recreational divers from nine countries.

In a week, the Carpe Diem vessel collected a total of 900 COTS from 15 reefs in North Male and South Male Atolls. The team was able to remove all of the starfish on 12 of the reefs, while three reefs with larger outbreaks required additional return clean-up efforts to fully eradicate these predatory starfish.

Established in 2008, Carpe Diem showcases a collection of three luxury liveaboard cruises, each accommodating 20 guests at a time. Carpe Diem is renowned for delivering a sense of discovery and adventure while enriching guests’ knowledge. The Carpe Diem name has built significant brand recognition within the top echelons of the travel industry for diving and leisure, and is currently developing a resort in the Maldives.

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