Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa Opens New Marine Discovery Centre
Maldives Promotion House – The new Marine Discovery Centre (MDC) at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa is an interactive research and education centre that introduces guests and local school children alike to the role everyone can each play in conserving the local and global marine ecosystem.
The Centre features audio-visual presentations on specific areas of conservation close to the Kuda Huraa team’s heart, including turtles, coral reefs, sharks and dolphins.
The MDC is the starting point for the Resort’s Turtle and Shark Safari, Dolphin Watching and Coral Reefscaping activities. It is also the headquarters of the Kuda Velaa Protection Program – a turtle conservation initiative that simultaneously works to increase awareness of turtle conservation throughout the Maldives, protect nests and rear green turtle hatchlings until they are big and strong enough to protect themselves in the wild.
The Centre also has a dedicated children’s section featuring an exciting submarine concept.
Kuda Velaa Protection Program: Kuda Velaa – “Little Turtles” – works with island communities across the Maldives to increase awareness of turtle conservation and protect nests from poachers. The project also gives endangered green turtles a head start in life by rearing a select number of hatchlings from protected nests for up to 15 months to improve their chance of survival in the wild. For the first nine months they are kept in land-based pools before they are relocated to larger enclosures in the lagoon where they will start to forage for themselves on sea grasses, adapting them to the wild. Upon release, the Kuda Velaa team will attach a GPS tracker to each turtle’s carapace to track foraging and migration patterns. The Kuda Velaa team is liaising with the Maldivian Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture regarding the program, which was created in response to concern about dwindling turtle populations in Maldivian waters.
Reefscapers: Four Seasons Resorts Maldives coral propagation project has been in existence at Kuda Huraa since 2001, when the Resort first started working with Maldivian environmental consultancy, Seamarc Pvt. Ltd, to improve coral cover in its lagoon. Today, the project has grown to one of the most successful of its kind in the world, transforming previously empty reef flats into thriving marine ecosystems. The Reefscapers team transplants coral fragments from the Resort’s existing reef onto coral frames (produced by a local co-operative), with all frames sponsored by Four Seasons Resorts and its guests.
In addition to the thriving coral frame channel on the sunrise side of Kuda Huraa, the Reefscapers team has developed an exciting new coral frame area – the Green Lagoon – arranged in the shape of a giant Green turtle on the island’s sunset side.