Blue & Green Laamu: Top News from the Maldives Underwater Initiative

Blue & Green Laamu MUI Newsletter March 2022

What’s new in the beautiful waters of the Indian Ocean? Find out in our March 2022 digest of Blue & Green Laamu. The monthly newsletter from the Maldives Underwater Initiative is backed by Six Senses Laamu resort.


20 Indian Ocean advocates, including Mr. Waitt, founder of the Waitt Institute, Honorable Minister Shauna of the Ministry of Environment, Climate & Technology, and Honorable Minister Dr. Rasheedh of the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources & Agriculture, were hosted at Six Senses Laamu for the knowledge exchange visit. The team of MUI (Maldives Underwater Initiative) got an excellent opportunity to share stories about their successful projects like Laamaseelu Masveriya Program, Seagrass Campaign, MPAs, and Sustainable Fund projects. During their visit, the experts discussed many important themes like sustainable tourism. They agreed on its importance to find meaningful changes for our planet & people.


In recent months, the MUI team recorded multiple spawning events from various coral species on the small Rikke’s reef. MUI experts have recorded more spawning events on Rikke’s reef than on other parts of the house reef. In March 2022 alone, the team conducted 13 hours of surveys. Future research projects might look into the reasons for this, and take profound observations to monitor the health of these corals in regard to the rise of ocean temperatures.


World Seagrass Day, 1st March 2019, Six Senses Laamu and Blue Marine Foundation launched the #ProtectMaldivesSeagrass campaign. Since then, the teams have been on an incredible journey to change the perception of seagrass meadows in the Maldives. Instead of a nuisance that people want to remove, they can preserve it as a beautiful asset that provides a home for wildlife. The importance of seagrass meadows will only grow in the future, as we face the global challenge of climate change. The Indian Ocean ecosystem relies more than ever on the natural carbon converters, and plants. MUI team launched multiple research studies and presented their findings at the Maldives Marine Science Symposium (the first-ever seagrass research). They also ran educational webinars and workshops to keep seagrass in the public, scientific and political eye.


All of our workers are 100% vaccinated with a booster dose. It means that the inter-island travel restriction was lifted for the first time in two years. Six Senses team has been working closely with neighboring island councils of Hithadhoo and Maamendhoo. After all, restrictions disappear MUI team made some visits to the neighboring islands. During these visits, the team identified the challenges of waste management. MUI formulated how the community could work together to develop a long-term action plan which will tackle the waste management problems in the islands of Maamendhoo, Hithadhoo, and Kunahandhoo. The team visited the Maamendhoo school to see the progress of the reading corner project. They also paid attention to the mangrove forest on Hithadhoo island which is the largest mangrove in Laamu atoll.


On March 8th, 2022, International Women’s Day was celebrated with a launch of a new project: “Reusable Bag Donation for All Households in Laamu Fonadhoo”. Six Senses Laamu resort develops the project in cooperation with WDC (Laamu Fonadhoo Women Development Committee). This project will enable Laamu Fonadhoo WDC to make and distribute 750 reusable bags with the help of tailors from a local small business. In addition, Laamu Fonadhoo WDC will provide a training session on how to make reusable cloth bags. 


On 24th March, MUI’s Community Outreach Coordinator and members of the Maldives Resilient Reefs team attended a multi-stakeholder workshop. The workshop brought together key community figures from all islands in Laamu, including island council members, women development committee members, the National defense force, police, and other private sector representatives. The workshop focused on the discussion of activities to increase community involvement in ecosystem conservation and management. Every participant expressed interest in well-managed protected areas in the atoll. A true testimony to the Laamu Atoll Hope Spot and the hope of its community.


Jinaad who has joined the Manta Trust as the new Assistant Project Manager had his first dive in Laamu at Fonadhoo Beyruu. This is one of Laamu’s most beautiful diving sites. Jinaad got the luck to witness a manta ray on his very first dive in the atoll, which was also the first manta ray encounter from Fonadhoo Beyru in 2022. The Manta Charlotte is identified asMV-MA-2971 and was last seen in December 2019. So, the Manta Trust team was very excited to encounter her after more than 2 years!


In March 2022 The Manta Trust Team recognized a new manta aggregation area, so the Maldives Underwater Initiative team is amazed that mantas coming very close to the resort at Jetty A, which is the first line of water villas. For the first time, a manta was spotted here by one of the guests in December 2021. In March this year, the team received another manta sighting from this same location. The Manta Trust team plan to place one of their remote underwater time-lapse cameras at this location in the hopes to capture more manta rays.


In March, MRR conducted PADI Open Water Diver training for the second group of young people from Laamu Atoll. The group included four young people: two from Thundi and two from Mukurimagu neighborhoods of Laamu Gan Island. Aishath Naajy was the first girl to take part in these training sessions! Young divers practiced open water diving. Soon in May 2022, they will take part in a Reef Check Eco-Diver training to learn how to monitor the coral reefs of Laamu Atoll.


The ORP team (Olive Ridley Project) has launched a new wonderful project, the first study of temperature and humidity data during the incubation of turtle nests. The first Tinytag temperature logger was deployed in January 2022. The team collected data every day until March. All data are really important in order to study the changes in the turtles’ population born into Laamu atoll in dynamic. This is a hard and long-term study, ORP team will deploy temperature loggers in nests during the year to collect as much data as possible. 


Venus a juvenile hawksbill identified as HK3887 has made her third year on record. They spotted the great turtle for the first time in March 2019. Venus is from Fushi Kandu, a channel opening in the northeast wall of Laamu. Hawksbills like Venus can be surprisingly graceful in the strongest of currents. They spend the majority of their lifetime on reefs such as this one, where reef habitats provide turtles with their preferred food.


On 18 March 2022 at Six Senses Laamu celebrated World Recycling Day with the Earth Lab team and fellow hosts at the resort. MUI Team opened the event with a presentation on the global issues of waste and encouraged hosts to think resourcefully when it comes to the goods around us. In the second part, the Earth Lab team showed how to upcycle old towels into plant pots, used wax into new candles, and discarded wine bottles into a drinking glass and a lamp. After the success of the day, the Earth Lab team has decided to incorporate these activities into the Reconnect with Others day-long itinerary the resort offers to guests.

Read full stories in the latest newsletter: March 2022 edition of Blue & Green Laamu

Archive newsletters:

February 2022

January 2022