World Environment Day and World Oceans Day are both causes very close to the heart of Hurawalhi Maldives, a resort where we take pride in treading lightly on the fragile natural world around us.
The theme for the 2021 World Environment Day, marked on 5th June, is ‘Restoration of Ecosystems’ and here in the Maldives the biggest and most diverse ecosystem we have is the coral reef surrounding our resort. Since our opening, Paige, our dive center manager has been ‘coral gardening’ the area around the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, reviving marine life that had been weakened by an El Nino event that caused widespread coral bleaching. Anyone who dines at 5.8 will see the tremendous achievements of Paige, Mie Shaahh – a local who was instrumental in the project, and other members of the team who have helped, as the reef flourishes and provides a home to countless fish. The coral project has continued with coral nurseries set up by our marine biologists, starting in 2019, broken coral fragments were grown and have been able to be transplanted back to damaged areas of the reef. In the latter part of 2020 fast-growing branching species of Acropora coral has been at the center of a new nursery project that should be ready for transplantation at the end of this year – this will provide the very important diversity of coral species that are interwoven in a healthy reef system.
World Oceans Day on 8th June 2021 has the theme ‘Life and Livelihoods’ and it’s an all-encompassing part of island life here in the Maldives. We are extremely fortunate to have not only a healthy reef system with an abundance of life but also protections in place to ensure that tourism and fishing, the main sources of income in the country, are sustainable. We advocate responsible diving and snorkelling practices, we work in partnership with Manta Trust, Olive Ridley Project and Parley for the Oceans that advocate avoiding the use of single-use plastics and encouraging responsible disposal of plastic that would otherwise end up in the ocean. Our marine biologists work tirelessly in reef conservation, research, local community outreach programs and guest education. Fishing in the Maldives is by traditional methods only, using a pole and line – an extremely sustainable method and Hurawalhi sources its fish directly from the local fishermen, great for the environment as well as the local economy.
Come and see what we’re so passionate about saving – once you experience the underwater realm surrounding Hurawalhi you’ll want to do all you can to save the oceans too. It’s time to unite, be thankful for what we have and take action to save what may be lost.