The resort steps lightly into 2024 celebrating its continued dedication to the conservation of our natural world.
‘Eye in the Sky’ Drone Technology
In partnership with British PhD researcher Melissa Schiele, drone technology has been developed and deployed in and around the atoll to understand the location and movement of ocean plastics. This also includes discarded fishing nets (ghost nets). With immediate impact, resort teams can locate and remove otherwise hard-to-find debris identified by drones.
In 2023 the resort’s naturalist team and dive network removed 19 ghost nets with an estimated weight of 1100kg. These ghost nets travel into the east Indian Ocean via strong ocean winds and currents experienced in the region from mid-December.
In 2023, the resort successfully rescued five olive ridley sea turtles found entangled in abandoned nets. Two turtles were released immediately, while three were rehabilitated by the Olive Ridley Project’s veterinary team, before a successful reintroduction to the ocean. A rehabilitated turtle named ‘Muraka’ was released on the 16th of August 2023. The turtle was fitted with a GPS tracking device to allow guests and followers to trace her journey.
Since opening, the resort has achieved 751 drone flights aiding critical research into plastic aggregation, location of ghost nets and ongoing monitoring of wildlife. Impressive data from the drone initiative was drawn for collaborative use to inform, educate and drive positive change long-term. Over 21 ocean species were observed in 2023, from the Ornate Eagle Ray, and Black Tip Reef Shark to the Melon-Headed Whale.
Jean-Michel Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment program
The resort also continues to collaborate with world-renowned oceanographic explorers and environmentalists to provide guest experiences with the preservation of the planet at its core. In 2023 the program planted 40 coral frames as part of its coral regeneration initiative. This is done using coral frags from the Pocillapora (Cauliflower corals) and the Acropora (Table coral). 25 of these abundant nursery frames, and successful new habitats for ocean life, can be seen by guests in the shallow waters of the resort’s welcome jetty on arrival.
The resort will welcome Jean-Michel Cousteau in 2024 from the 8th to the 18th of April. This educational residency will include exclusive guest experiences and Q&As.
Community Footprints Towards
The resort’s relationships with local schools enable visits with its naturalist teams to share research and educate. In 2023 five educational excursions to local islands took place including schools in Dhiffushi and Gaafaru. The visits took a deep dive into ocean conservation, from the environmental impact of ocean plastics to insights from the resort community’s drone research and shared observations of wildlife. Presentations of ground-breaking research from the resort’s ‘Visiting Heroes’ programme included the work of renowned shark scientist Gibbs Kuguru and his conservation work tagging Blacktip Reef Sharks.
The resort engages in ten global environmental dates. These dates include:
- World Shark Day
- World Dolphin Day
- Ocean Clean Up Day
- Earth Day
A continuation of its Community Footprints programming, 11 beach clean-ups guests to support ocean debris collection on resort shores and the local islands of Dhiffushi and Gaafaru.
Creating a Sustainable Environment for the Future
The resort continues to grow its commitment to sustainable practices in its day-to-day operations. Some of the conservation initiatives include:
- increasing its production of renewable energy via its solar power infrastructure
- Purification of still and sparkling drinking water at its dedicated plant
- Treating greywater for landscaping
- Robust composting programme for daily food waste.
Guests can also expect to use reusable glass water bottles, bamboo-based personal consumables, refillable jars of amenities, and bamboo and stainless-steel straws. Organic Bamford amenities, with shared sensibilities of living consciously and in harmony with nature, are replenished on-site, while the resort’s desalination plant reduces the amount of plastic imported into the country.