“Grouper in the Maldives are in trouble. Due to high demand and market prices, the Maldives grouper export fishery has escalated since the 1980s, spreading throughout the country. The most recent study in 2011 revealed a concerning situation: grouper stocks are declining and smaller sized fish are being taken. Larger fish have selectively been removed and fishers are targeting spawning aggregation sites. Recent catch data show that for the ten most commonly exploited species of groupers, 70% of individuals are taken prior to reaching sexual maturity, meaning that they had not had a chance to reproduce before being caught. The Blue Marine Foundation has formed a partnership with the Maldivian Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture (MOFA) and Six Senses Laamu, a beautifully sustainable, luxury resort with a passion for marine conservation. In collaboration with MOFA, BLUE has designed a project to promote a better documented and more sustainable grouper fishery in the Maldives by protecting threatened grouper spawning aggregations. Research suggests that grouper have been overfished for at least 15 years in Laamu Atoll.”
Blue Marine are the grouper groupies of the Maldives.
With this post, I’ve added the tag “Marine Life Conservation” to cover post about initiatives to save various aquatic creatures (bigger than coral polyps as those projects are covered extensively in the “Reef Regeneration” tag).
“Six Senses Laamu has started to produce handcrafted chocolate bars. 100% organic Criollo beans and brown sugar from a Sri Lankan are turned into a new Laamu chocolate. Their chocolate alchemist Alvina produces different flavors including Maldivian chili, lemongrass, cinnamon and dried fruit.”
With this post, I’m adding a tag for “Chocolate”, appropriate with the Maldives being the quintessential Bounty Bar destination.
Inventive electronic gizmos to help you see go to new depths at the Six Senses Laamu reefs where they have introduced underwater ultrasound. No, not another bizarre underwater activity designed for babymooners, but a thoroughly innovative technology to research the gestation of baby mantra rays.
“The Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI) at Six Senses Laamu…facilitated introductions between the creators of the world’s first non-invasive underwater ultrasound scanner and provided a site for field testing…Two years ago, MUI brought together some of the great minds in veterinary technology and challenged them to create a device that could ultrasound scan Laamu’s resident population of reef manta rays (Mobula alfredi). ‘MUI aims to be a marine conservation visionary,” says Marteyne van Well, Six Senses Laamu general manager, ‘One of the ways we’re leading conservation efforts in the Maldives is by providing a platform for discussions on, and the field testing of, this world-first technology.’..IMV Imaging’s Duo-Scan:Go Oceanic is the first ever technology to allow contactless scanning of wild marine animals at depths of up to 98.5 feet (30 meters), while also being portable (the dive rig weighs less than 4.5 pounds (2 kilograms). The aim of bringing this technology to Laamu was to scan wild pregnant reef manta rays in order to study gestation and embryonic development…Laamu is home to 125 reef manta rays, which display courtship behavior during two annual courtship periods: May-June and October-November. Each year the Manta Trust has identified between one and 11 pregnancies…Manta Trust researchers have been field testing the Duo-Scan:Go Oceanic in Laamu for the past year and a half. Over this period, they successfully developed approach methods and obtained ultrasound scans of wild pregnant and non-pregnant reef manta rays.”
Not the Martha and the Muffins classic, but a new perspective on beach beauty by Six Senses Laamu who are preserving vibrant marine life even if it means much bigger landscaping budget (thanks Paola):
“It takes a lot of effort to maintain the picture perfect white beaches and powder blue turquoise lagoons at tourist resorts. Many of the resorts in the Maldives actively destroy their seagrass beds to maintain this facade. Six Senses Laamu has changed this attitude and are now actively promoting the protection of their seagrass beds as they are a haven for megafauna including green sea turtles, sting rays and baby sharks in addition to being a nursery for juvenile fish, providing oxygen, storing carbon, improving the health of adjacent coral reefs and preventing erosion of the island.”
The resort clarifies that “We have a team of gardeners at Six Senses Laamu that rakes the beach and place the dead seagrass in the jungle so that it can still contribute its nutrients to the coastal system, while also ensuring guests can use the beaches.”
For an helpful introduction to the importance of sea grass in the Maldives, check out the video below.
“The latest crafted experiences from the resort comes in line with two other Six Senses values of sustainability and pioneering wellness. This time the newest arrivals to the island are a flock of 24 chickens from two neighbouring islands, and their reservation at the resort is made for a long stay. Before their arrival the flock was vetted by Raymond Rochester, a guest and visiting veterinarian. They were given a warm welcome by the resort hosts and upon arrival, in line with guests experience, they are assigned a Chicken Guest Experience Maker (Chicken GEM) available to help make their stay comfortable. Their accommodation is located at the newly built organic Kukulku Farm. Kukulku is the word for chicken in the local language of Dhivehi…Resident Manager Frans Westraadt along with Sustainability Manager Megan O’Beirne supervised the preparation of the Kukulhu Farm. It includes a state-of-the-art chicken gym facility, a multi-level installation with terracing steps for exercise sessions and handmade nests that follow the fundamental philosophies of the Sleep With Six Senses programme.”
One of my favourite egg-cellent press releases of all time.
International Talk Like A Pirate Day today, but if you want to act like a pirate then avast ye’ these special programmes at Six Senses Laamu…
“Twice a year during Easter and Christmas break we have many families with children visiting Six Senses Laamu. So twice a year we offer this excursion. It is a pirate themed trip that leaves at 10:00 in the morning and returns about 15:30. We have some scarfs, eye patches, foam swords, water guns, a treasure map and we make up a story. We take snorkel equipment along as well as children’s lunch. At the end the excursion leads to a “treasure” of sweets for the children. We usually have boys and girls between 6 and 13 years old and sometimes a parent comes along too. The price is USD 150++ (10% service charge & 12% GST)”
Holy Ping Pong Batman! This is not just something I have not seen at any other Maldives resort…I haven’t seen it anywhere else in the world (thanks Paola). Sort of like table tennis with golf hazards. Six Senses Laamu describes…
”This is a ping pong table that we have made here at the resort as part of our fun & quirky concept. It is placed on the beach outside Sip Sip along with other games we have made here on the island (giant score four, jenga etc). It is not easy as it looks! The table has holes with nets on it so one would have to have great aim to play without dropping the ball in the hole.”
Beer pong returning to its ping pong origins, though contrary to the resort statement, I think there definitely should be a version where you drink a beer if your opponent sends it into one of the holes.
Earth Hour today – “The world’s largest demonstration of support for action on climate change. Last year, millions around the world across 178 countries came together to show support for action to protect our amazing planet.”
A popular celebration of Earth Hour is planting trees and other greenery to rejuvenate the Earth, sequester carbon from our atmosphere. Others will be pushing for sustainability initiatives like recycling. Six Senses Laamu offers a sustainable flower pot that combines both…
“Make your own sustainable flower pot! Our guests joined Megan, our sustainability officer and discovered how to make art and not waste, by making their own flower pots from our recycled crushed glass! Every month, Six Senses Laamu recycles hundreds of glass bottles that are reused throughout the resort in different forms. One of our favorite ways to use this recycled glass is in different art projects. We invited our guests to join us in the Earth Lab where they learnt how to make beautiful and unique flower pots out of reused glass. What better way to start off the spring than to plant something new in your own handmade flower pot!”
After all, glass is just sand and that’s pretty much most of the “earth” in the Maldives. In honor of the day, I have added the tag “Recycling” to the blog.
The holidays call for merry food and drink and of course the traditional collapse in front of the TV to watch a holiday favorite like “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Die Hard”. And December is second only to the summer for blockbuster Hollywood releases. This festive season brings back the greatest film franchise of all time, Star Wars, gracing the silver screen with the azure landscape of the Maldives. I’ve often said that part of the magic Maldives is that it doesn’t just seem like an exotic place on the planet…it seems like another planet altogether. There are a few places on Earth that have that other-worldly feel – Iceland, Grand Canyon, and this collection from CondeNast.
Fanboys who trek to Tunisia to see the “Tatooine” set of early Star Wars episodes will want to start getting their bookings to Six Senses Laamu, the only resort in the Laamu atoll where “Rogue One” filmed the idyllic scenes from planet Scarif.
For a more stable aquatic night life, Six Senses Laamu offers night paddling. Just another offering in the surging surf scene where the colourful tranquil lagoons are (protected by the long reef which make for world-class gentle surf breaks) ideal for the more self-propelled version of paddle boarding…
“Billy Rossini, world champion and world record holder in kneeboarding and hydrofoiling, came up with this brilliant idea of how to extend his evenings in the water – LED lights for canoes and SUP’s. We found out about it, purchased the lights, installed them to our vessels and now it is time for you to join the fun – we would love to introduce you to night paddling in the lagoon of Six Senses Laamu. We are probably the first and still the only ones in the Maldives to be able to offer you this new adventure. Take a canoe or a stand up paddle board whichever is more comfortable and stable!! Join us for a tour, and enjoy the feeling to be out there, right when the sun goes down.”
With post I am adding a new tag of “Night” for the increasingly diverse night-time activities to be discovered.