Biosphere Expeditions and Six Senses offer Maldivians a unique chance to take part in coral reef & whale shark research expedition

Monday, 18 April 2011 14:09

Renowned international conservation organisation Biosphere Expeditions and two Six Senses properties, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Gili, have teamed up to create two scholarships for Maldivians with a dive qualification and English language skills to take part in a new coral reef & whale shark study being conducted in September 2011. Scholarship recipients will be trained in reef and whale shark research techniques and assist scientists from around the world in a study designed to provide data to the Maldivian government so that informed conservation decisions can be made.

The project, based on the Carpe Diem liveaboard cruising the archipelago, will see Biosphere Expeditions, the award-winning not-for-profit conservation organisation, working with the Maldives Marine Research Centre (MRC) of the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Reef Check and the Marine Conservation Society to study and safeguard the spectacular coral reefs and the resident whale shark population.

Successful scholarship applicants will be able to demonstrate a genuine interest in the marine environment and that they will use the experience to the benefit of the Maldives’ marine resources, carrying the message to other people and multiplying the effect of their experience. More information about the scholarship and how to apply is at > Tab “Maldives”.

Dr. Matthias Hammer, biologist, Reef Check trainer and Executive Director of Biosphere Expeditions, says “The coral reefs of the Maldives archipelago and the fish populations that live amongst them are extraordinarily diverse and rich. They are also in a relatively pristine state and having both these factors together is quite rare. As less than one per cent of the world’s oceans are protected, it is very important that we monitor and manage areas that are doing well. This is especially true for the Maldives, where the economy and well-being of an entire nation is largely dependent on a healthy & sustainably managed marine environment. We are delighted to be working with the Maldivian government and people and look forward to hosting our scholarship winners on the expedition in September. We are also very grateful to Six Senses for their investment and support in this project over four years.”

Kate Wilson, marine biologist at Soneva Fushi, adds “These scholarships will allow Maldivians to work alongside and learn from some top marine biologists, enabling them to get hands-on experience of monitoring coral reef ecosystems and whale sharks in the Maldives. It is a fantastic opportunity for keen and enthusiastic divers that want to develop skills in marine surveying, enabling them to continue surveying long after the scholarship ends. We are thrilled to be working with Biosphere Expeditions who will be contributing vital data to the Maldives government on coral reef health.”


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