Coral Reef CPR joining Carpe Vita Nov. 10/20

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Marine biologist from Coral Reef CPR joining again on Carpe Vita November 10/20

Andy Bruckner, Coral Reef CPR Director

The Maldives is known for its megafauna, with annual arrivals of mantas and whale sharks, frequent sitings of pilot, humpback and even blue whales, dolphins, recovering shark populations and an abundance of hawksbill turtles.  The Maldives has over 1190 islands in 26 atolls, and also support more coral reef habitat than anywhere else in the Indian Ocean. In fact, the Maldives has more coral reef than the entire Caribbean Sea and about 3.5% of all shallow water coral reefs found worldwide.  The reef structures are unique and diverse ranging from outer, exposed fore reef communities, steeply sloping walls, and lagoonal reefs (circular faru’s and seamounts known as a thila) influenced by tidal currents, to swift flowing, deep clefts (c20160415-P7260002hannel reefs known locally as a kandu) in the rim of the atoll.  They also support more than 220 species of corals, 1,200 reef fish and thousands of other invertebrates.  Yet for more of these reefs, especially those around the more remote northern atolls, we know very little about their structure, composition or health, or the challenges and opportunities they present.

We do know that coral reefs in the Maldives and also elsewhere on the planet are under severe threat as a result of unusual warmer than normal conditions due to the combined impacts of climate change and the worst El Niño event recorded in history.  Other Pacific and Indian Ocean-wide threats, such as the recent population explosion of the voracious crown of thorns starfish (COTS) place these reefs under further risk.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Coral reef scientists are also aware that the reefs of the Maldives may be doing better than many other locations.  The wide expanses (more than 90,000 square kilometers!) of clean, open ocean water flushes these reefs during the winter and summer monsoons, cooling the reef and bathing it in a nutrient rich plankton soup.  Further, with exception of the densely populated, highly urbanized city of Malé, there are very few people in the Maldives, and very little direct human pressures on the reefs. Fortunately for the coral reefs.

While guests will be enjoying the normal 4 dives a day offered by the Carpe Vita on this part Northern itinerary, we will thoroughly characterize the coral and fish communities, and their health as we did on our previous trip with the Carpe Vita in August 2016. These surveys will allow us to determine how severe the 2016 coral bleaching event was throughout the Maldives , by combining these data with information from our other sites in Central Maldives and our previous visit.  We will also gather valuable information on the spread of the COTS and impacts of these starfish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

COTS first appeared on the west side of North Malé Atoll in 2013, and in 2015 they begin to spread, invading South Malé atoll and Ari Atoll.  Recently, they’ve been spotted on Lhaviyani and Shaviyani Atolls.  Yet, little is known about their abundance, or effects on these reefs.   Whenever we spot a starfish, we’ll collect it to gather additional scientific information on its genetics and also to prevent it from causing more damage on the reef.  In 2015, in about a week, a team of four scientists removed over 7,500 starfish from two reef systems in North Malé Atoll and one in South Malé Atoll, saving these reefs from demise.  We plan to undertake the same effort during this excursion if we identify outbreaks of the starfish, saving the corals while preventing further expansion of the starfish and future outbreaks.

We are extremely excited to partner with Carpe Diem Maldives Fleet and looking forward to working alongside their team to research these reefs and preserve their health! We will be running regular educational seminars during the trip and be available for all questions, no matter the time of day!

For more information on the work of Coral Reef CPR please visit our website (www.coralreefcpr.org) and if you want to make a difference, why not donate now to help coral reefs of the Maldives (www.coralreefcpr.org/donate-now.html)!

Share

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

SPECIALS

Safe 20% on the following guaranteed departures
Carpe Diem 
5/12 Dec – Buy 1 get 1 free
12/19 Dec – Buy 1 get 1 free
Dec. 19/Jan 2 – 3150 USD p/p for 14 nights in standard cabin
Carpe Novo
5/12 Dec – 1575 USD p/p for the week
12/19 Dec – 1575 USD p/p for the week
Carpe Vita 
20/27 Dec – 1575 USD p/p for the week

Payment conditions:
10% deposit required only, refundable in case bans from either country are still in place. Balance payment 60 days before start of the trip.

For 2021, we have our regular discounts as described below, for over 6 months in advance 10% EBB.

This special FIT discount can’t be combined with any bookings that currently need rescheduling or other regular discounts as mentioned below.

For groups travel extra FOC
Booking window: December 18, 2020
Booking period: August 1, till December 18, 2021

Half charters get 3 FOC instead of 2, so pay for 9 and get 12 spaces.
For full charters get 5 FOC instead of 4, so pay for 15 and get 20 spaces

5% deposit required for bookings more than 1 year in advance. 

The group discounts can’t be combined with any other discounts, except for the Early Bird discounts during summer periods only.

REGULAR DISCOUNTS

Last minute:
Book within 30 days of departure 10%

Early Bird:
> 6 months receive 10% discount 

Repeaters discount:
5% If you have been on one of our boats before you are entitled to 5% repeaters discount on your next booking

Group bookings:
pay for 5 and get 6th free, full charter get 4 FOC, so pay for 16 only