Carpe Diem Maldives announces Dive with a Purpose expeditions for 2018
Carpe Diem Maldives Cruises has announced its 2018 Dive with a Purpose series of hands-on marine expeditions for leisure divers.
The 2018 expeditions build on the success of three marine expeditions in 2017, in partnership with US based research organisation Coral Reef CPR.
“Divers with an avid marine conservation interest should not miss out on this unique opportunity to work alongside expert marine biologists in the 2018 series of Dive with a Purpose expeditions from Carpe Diem Maldives,” a statement issued by Carpe Diem Maldives read.
Taking a concerted approach towards protecting and restoring the health of coral reefs and marine life in the Maldives, three “Rescue a Reef” weeks with experts from Coral Reef CPR will look at addressing issues around reef predators, damage prevention and restoration. These expeditions are an extension of Carpe Diem’s support of the organisation’s Holistic Approach To Reef Protection (HARP) programme. A fourth week has been added to the 2018 Dive with a Purpose programme in partnership with Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP).
On each Dive with A Purpose week, up to 20 recreational divers can join the marine expeditions; divers must have an Advanced PADI qualification, excellent buoyancy control and ideally a minimum of 70 dives.
Priced from USD 1,863 per person for the week, the expeditions include:
- Seven nights aboard the assigned Carpe Diem Maldives vessel
- Three meals daily, plus between-dive snacks
- Three to four dives daily (except for on day of arrival and day before departure)
- Use of tanks, weights and belts
- Drinking water, tea and coffee
- Airport transfers on the days of embarkation/disembarkation
- Evening workshops on marine ecology, coral reef, marine life and more
- On-board marine biologists
- GST 12 percent
Rescue a Reef: Crown of Thorns Starfish Removal with Coral Reef CPR
Expedition dates: May 19 – May 26 / July 15 – July 22 / Sept 8 – Sept 15
Reefs in the Maldives are currently being impacted by the third outbreak of crown of thorns starfish (COTS; Acanthaster spp.) that started in 2014 at the western end of North Male Atoll, near Reethi Rah, and has progressively spread throughout North Male Atoll, South Male Atoll and Ari Atoll, with smaller infestations reported on six other atolls. While normal densities of these starfish are generally not a concern, over 130 localised outbreaks were reported between 2014 and 2017. Many of these have consisted of thousands of starfish and hundreds of reefs have been completely destroyed as a result of their voracious feeding.
Coral Reef CPR, in partnership with Carpe Diem Maldives, has removed over 10,600 starfish from reefs in the Maldives since 2015.
In the 2018 “Rescue a Reef” expeditions, divers on the trips can expect a hands-on role in eliminating the starfish from badly infested reefs. Divers on board these expeditions will assist the Coral Reef CPR scientists in collecting valuable data on the behaviours of the starfish and their genetic make-up. This will help understand why the outbreaks occur, where they originate from and what we can do to prevent a recurrence.
In addition to the COTS removal from reefs, the team will also visit a number of unique reef environments, including submerged farus and giris to explore the invertebrate life as and also collect valuable data on the diverse and colourful reef fish communities and larger megafauna such as sharks, manta rays and turtles. During these dives and COTS removal dives, quantitative transects will be conducted to measure the health of the reefs and patterns of recovery following the 2016 bleaching event.
Working in buddy teams to remove the COTS from the reef, divers will be assisting Coral Reef CPR scientists in all aspects of research, including reef assessment surveys, collection of samples, and removal of crown of thorns starfish, cushion stars and coral eating snails. Across each of the one-week trips, divers will be trained in reef conservation methods and survey approaches, and learn about coral reefs and the vibrant and diverse life found on reefs through nightly workshops and discussions.
“Joining these ‘Rescue a Reef’ expeditions will provide divers with an opportunity to be part of a team who are saving thousands of hectares of reef and preventing the potential for future outbreaks,” the statement read.
The Great Megafauna Migration: Track whale sharks, mantas and turtles
Expedition dates: May 26 – June 2
There is a growing school of thought that the Maldivian ‘big three’; whale sharks, manta rays and turtles react to the changes in the monsoon seasons by moving to sites on the leeward side of the atolls. In May 2018, Carpe Novo will become a research platform for biologists from the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme providing them and 20 lucky guests an unprecedented opportunity to explore this phenomenon.
“The goal of this particular Dive with a Purpose expedition is to begin the 2018 southwest season’s data collection, documenting the movements of these iconic yet enigmatic animals,” the statement read.
There are two monsoons in the Maldives, Iruvai as the Maldivians call the northeast monsoon between December and April and Hulhagu, the southwest monsoon from May to November. How quickly these megafauna species transition from sites on the west coasts to sites on the east coast and vice versa is not defined and probably depends on currents and surface weather conditions.
The MWSRP will be setting out on Carpe Novo with the aim of seeking whale sharks, as well as manta rays and sea turtles at differing points amongst the central atolls. Whale sharks, manta rays and turtles will be photo identified, with individuals compared to previous sightings in national level databases to identify movements between locations, both within and between atolls. Equipment will be deployed to gather data on current and surface weather conditions in the hope of gleaning information on how quickly the 2018 season has changed and how the megafauna has reacted to it.
Special attention will be paid to whale sharks which have moved from other atolls, where a fledgling understanding of seasonal cyclic movements can be reinforced by any sightings of 29 individual whale sharks known to be regular inter-atoll travellers.
In areas where whale sharks are prevalent, the MWSRP will explore oceanic conditions in the isolated parts of the atolls where whale sharks are not expected to be sighted through the deployment of temperature and current reading loggers and compare that to data collected in areas where whale sharks would be expected to be seen.
Guests joining this expedition will be offered the opportunity to assist the researchers in the hands on equipment deployment and every data gathering aspect of their work and will be afforded nightly workshops, lectures and discussions on marine life and the leading edge findings from Maldives-specific research on these species.
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.
Kuramathi Maldives launches Muraka project: Coral propagation for reef regeneration
On World Ocean Day, the 8th of June 2023, Kuramathi Maldives launched the Muraka Project, a pioneering coral propagation initiative. With a steadfast dedication to environmental sustainability and preservation, Kuramathi Maldives will be fostering the sustainable growth and regeneration of coral reefs in the surrounding region.
The Muraka Project, is led by the dedicated Eco Centre team in collaboration with experienced resident marine biologist Sara Scroglieri. The programme will utilise advanced techniques and methods to propagate and grow new coral colonies, while also rehabilitating damaged and degraded reefs in the surrounding waters of the resort.
Kuramathi Eco Centre has been at the forefront of coral restoration efforts since 2009 when the first coral nursery was established in the island’s lagoon. Over the years, significant progress has been achieved, and the resort remains committed to continually enhancing the project by exploring different strategies and studying the most effective methods for different coral species. The ongoing research allows the resort to stay updated with the latest advancements in coral propagation, ensuring the best possible outcomes for reef regeneration.
Similar to growing a new plant from a cutting, corals can also be pruned and regrown from existing fragments. Nature itself demonstrates this phenomenon as fragments of coral colonies break off and regenerate elsewhere. Through coral gardening and other innovative techniques, Kuramathi aims to assist the reefs in recovering their ecological services, including coastal protection, marine biodiversity, and aesthetic values.
The entire Kuramathi team is thrilled about the programme’s potential to contribute to the regeneration of coral reefs in the region. The team eagerly anticipates providing guests with firsthand opportunities to witness these remarkable efforts. Kuramathi Maldives remains steadfast in its mission to promote sustainable tourism and ensure the preservation of the region’s natural beauty for generations to come.
The Muraka Project serves as a testament to Kuramathi Maldives’ unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship. On World Ocean Day, the resort celebrated the collective efforts of its Eco Centre team, local schools, and the wider community. By fostering collaboration and raising awareness about the significance of coral reef conservation, the resort paves the way for a brighter future for our oceans.
Unveiling the depths of paradise: Kandolhu Maldives
Kandolhu Maldives, the epitome of intimate luxury, also has a lesser known adventurous side to it. Located in the centre of Ari Atoll, it is one of the best dive locations in the Maldives, offering unforgettable underwater experiences that will leave you gasping for breath – in the most magnificent way possible.
Reached within 25 minutes by seaplane, Kandolhu is an enchanting little island oasis that beckons you to dive headfirst into a world of vibrant coral reefs, mesmerising marine life, and unparalleled natural beauty. Prepare to be captivated by the kaleidoscope of colours that dance beneath the azure waters, as you embark on an underwater odyssey that will redefine the meaning of adventure.
At Kandolhu, you’ll have the privilege of accessing exceptional dive sites both in the captivating North Ari Atoll and the mesmerizing South Ari Atoll. The Ari Atoll is a paradise for pelagic enthusiasts, offering thrilling encounters with feeding manta rays, graceful whale sharks. Unlike traditional protected walls or coral reefs, the dive sites in this region are predominantly characterized by remarkable thilas (pinnacles) and kandus (channels), creating the perfect setting for exhilarating drift diving experiences.
Dive enthusiasts of all levels are welcome to explore the extraordinary wonders that lie beneath the waves. Whether you are a seasoned diver or a beginner looking to take your first underwater breath, our team of experienced dive instructors is ready to tailor an unforgettable diving experience that matches your skills and desires. Their expertise and passion for marine conservation will ensure your safety while preserving the delicate ecosystem that makes Kandolhu Maldives a true haven for divers.
Beyond the enchanting underwater realm, Kandolhu offers a wealth of luxury amenities and services that will leave you feeling pampered and revitalised. Immerse yourself in the lap of luxury with chic accommodations, where every inch is designed to create a haven of tranquility. Indulge in delectable culinary delights at the resort’s 5 world-class restaurants, sip on tropical concoctions at the beachside, and unwind with rejuvenating spa treatments.
Prepare to be captivated by the wonders that await you beneath the surface of the Kandolhu Maldives, where every dive is a thrilling exploration of nature’s extraordinary beauty. Let the waves guide you towards an aquatic paradise that will leave you breathless – and yearning for more.
Pelagic Divers Fuvahmulah introduces rare opportunity to dive with endangered oceanic whitetip sharks in the Maldives
Pelagic Divers Fuvahmulah, a leading dive center in the southern hemisphere of the Maldives, is breaking new ground in the world of shark diving by offering offshore expeditions to swim with the endangered Oceanic Whitetip Sharks. These elusive creatures, listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, present a rare and thrilling opportunity for diving enthusiasts.
Pelagic Divers Fuvahmulah has pioneered a method to safely interact with the Oceanic Whitetip Sharks, making them the first dive center in the Maldives to provide such an experience. Known for their expertise in exploring the rich diversity of pelagic life, the dive center’s initiative opens up a world of possibilities for adventure seekers and shark enthusiasts.
Fuvahmulah Island, a one-island atoll situated in the Maldives’ southern region, is gaining recognition as a premier destination for shark diving. The area boasts an abundant population of resident tiger sharks, adding to its allure as one of the best places globally to encounter these majestic creatures. Led by PADI Instructor Ahmed Inah, a native of Fuvahmulah, Pelagic Divers Fuvahmulah has assembled a team of local guides who possess an intimate understanding of the area and its marine life.
Safety remains a top priority at Pelagic Divers Fuvahmulah. The dive center maintains a small guest-to-guide ratio of 1:4, ensuring a personalized and secure shark diving experience for all participants. By focusing on maintaining this ratio, Pelagic Divers Fuvahmulah guarantees that each diver receives ample attention and guidance throughout their journey.
In addition to the Oceanic Whitetip Sharks, Pelagic Divers Fuvahmulah also offers the opportunity to dive with tiger sharks, a thrilling encounter for those seeking an adrenaline-filled underwater experience. To make the most of this unique opportunity, interested individuals can enroll in the Tiger Shark Specialty Course, organized by Pelagic Divers Fuvahmulah in collaboration with PADI. This course, led by the experienced and knowledgeable team under the guidance of Ahmed Inah, provides comprehensive training and insights for a responsible and unforgettable tiger shark diving experience.
Diving enthusiasts and nature lovers are urged not to miss the chance to embark on this remarkable adventure. Pelagic Divers Fuvahmulah invites you to join them in the stunning waters of Fuvahmulah, Maldives, for an unforgettable journey into the world of Oceanic Whitetip Sharks and tiger sharks. Immerse yourself in the beauty of these magnificent creatures while ensuring their protection and preservation in a safe and responsible manner.
For more information about Pelagic Divers Fuvahmulah and their unique shark diving experiences, visit their website or contact them directly to secure your spot on an offshore expedition that promises an extraordinary encounter with these rare and endangered marine species.
Disclaimer: Diving with sharks involves inherent risks. Participants are advised to adhere to all safety guidelines and regulations provided by Pelagic Divers Fuvahmulah and exercise caution during their dive.
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