World Oceans Day: Gili Lankanfushi launches new marine conservation shack

Today on World Oceans Day, we’re celebrating those who champion marine conservation, environmental sustainability and the prevention of oceanic pollution, with the ultimate goal of promoting a healthier marine environment for the future.

World Oceans Day 2017 will see Gili Lankanfushi — the Maldives’ ultimate barefoot luxury eco-resort — launch its innovative new marine biology shack, Gili Veshi, which aptly translates as Gili Environment in the local Dhivehi language. The shack will become the island’s primary research facility, and the key hub for all sustainability and conservation issues.

With operations overseen by Gili’s two knowledgeable marine biologists, the team will monitor all aspects of the island’s reef biodiversity, including sea surface temperature and coral growth, to protect the fragile coral reef environment.  They’ll also launch a new seagrass planting initiative to create new feeding grounds for endangered turtle species that roam the island’s waters, and will continually monitor threats to biodiversity, including coral bleaching and the onslaught of invasive Crown of Thorn starfish. Gili’s pioneering coral lines project – which sees coral fragments suspended in mid water to accelerate growth and reduce predation – will be expanded following the opening of Gili Veshi, with existing coral lines transplanted onto the house reef and monitored as the primary stage of a wider conservation effort.

Nature loving guests will be able to get involved in the conservation efforts first hand, participating in monthly reef clean efforts to remove oceanic litter and coral watch dives to check on new specimens. Budding marine biologists-to-be can revel in the island’s new experiences tailor-made for children, from educational treasure hunts on land and beneath the waves, to interactive movies and games aimed at educating children about the underwater world.

The Gili Veshi team will also spearhead a new conservation outreach initiative to focus on the local community and schools on nearby Himmafushi Island and the capital, Male, paving the way for a more secure future of local marine conservation.

Gili Veshi officially opens today, on World Oceans Day, with a day of celebrations including a ceremonial paddle out into the lagoon to pledge Gili Lankanfushi’s commitment to protect our oceans.

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