Stand Up for Our Seas: Unprecedented SUP expedition to explore climate change, plastic pollution in Maldives

In February, four women will embark on an unprecedented 100km stand up paddleboarding expedition around Baa atoll in the Maldives.

Veterinary surgeons Dr Cal Major and Dr Claire Petros from the UK along with ocean advocates Dhafeena ‘Dhafy’ Hassan Ibrahim and Shaaziya ‘Saazu’ Saeed from the Maldives will be exploring the threats faced by the environment and marine life from plastic pollution, ghost fishing gear, and climate change.

(R-L): Claire Petros, Cal Major, Shaaziya Saeed and Dhafeena Hassan Ibrahim.

Stand Up for Our Seas is sponsored by Coco Collection and is being conducted in collaboration with Coco Collection’s CSR partner Olive Ridley Project (ORP), a UK-based charity operating in the Indian Ocean with a mission to rescue and rehabilitate turtles entangled by discarded fishing nets.

The team will travel on stand up paddleboards around Baa atoll, stopping off at different local islands and resorts, running beach clean-ups, hosting talks at schools, and giving presentations to various resorts and their guests. They will also be highlighting the steps and initiatives already underway by the local communities to tackle these issues.

The Stand Up for Our Seas team will set off from Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu on February 21, and they will travel around the majority of the atoll. They will end their expedition back at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu on February 28.

The Stand Up for Our Seas team will be accompanied by a support boat comprising of a team from the Olive Ridley Project. They will also be joined by award-winning landscape and adventure photographer and filmmaker James Appleton. James will be documenting the entire expedition with photographs and films.

Three islands — Coco Bodu Hithi, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu and Coco Privé — comprise the award-winning Coco Collection brand.

Coco Bodu Hithi, the flagship property in Coco Collection’s portfolio, is a chic retreat where you reconnect with yourself, your loved ones and the wonder of the natural world. Translating island life into contemporary sophistication, the resort, which is accessible by a 40-minute speedboat ride from the main Velana International Airport, offers 100 villas that are surrounded by the calm view of the lagoon and the soothing sound of the waves.

Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is dedicated to the inspiring beauty and natural wonder of the Maldives. Here, environmentally-conscious touches are woven into luxurious natural surroundings and initiatives contribute to the environmental and social sustainability of Maldives.

At USD 45,000 a night, Coco Privé is the first private island for exclusive hire in the Maldives. Secluded and utterly discrete, the island is perfectly designed for guests to escape to an entirely private paradise.

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