Conservation Initiatives

Here at Ocean Dimensions, we take the environment and its preservation and conservation as one of our main priorities. Please read through the information below relating to just a couple of the initiatives we are involved in.

Manta Trust & Maldivian Manta Ray Project:

Ocean Dimensions - Laamu
Ocean Dimensions and Six Senses Laamu are pleased to be regional partners of the Manta Trust and supporters of the Maldivian Manta Ray Project.

Manta Rays are closely related to all Rays and Sharks. They feed on zooplankton, some of the smallest animals in the sea, using their cephalic fins to create a funnel which allows litres of water to pass over their gill rakers where they filter out the plankton. Due to the increasing demand for these gill rakers for use in Asian Medicines, Manta Rays have been listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as of 2011.

The Maldivian Manta Ray Project was established in 2005 and is one of the longest running research projects into these creatures and their behavior in the world. The aim of the MMRP is to collect long-term, robust data on the distribution, biology and ecology of Manta Rays throughout the Maldives to aid in their conservation. The Manta Trust currently has research projects in over 16 different countries worldwide.

Using the unique pattern of black spots on the white belly of the Manta Ray, the Maldivian Manta Ray Project has identified over 3,000 individuals in the Maldives. Since 2012, Six Senses Laamu and Ocean Dimensions have been submitting photographs of the undersides of Manta Rays to the MMRP.  22 individual manta rays have been identified using the cleaning stations at our local dive site Hithadhoo Corner, more fondly known as Manta Point. At a depth of 20m, there is a platform where we find multiple coral blocks which host dozens of cleaner wrasse and attract Manta Rays for their daily cleaning ritual.

After just five days of diving by the MMRP at Hithadhoo Corner, our humble number of 22 identified Manta Rays increased to 52 individuals. In only a short space of time, 28 of the newly sighted individuals were identified as being completely new to the Maldives database. The Laamu Atoll database now contains 50 individuals which have only been sighted in our Atoll.

Two individuals were identified which had previously been sighted in other Atolls.  It appears that these Mantas travelled almost 400 km across open ocean to get to the Laamu Atoll. These extraordinary feats of travel indicate connectivity between the Atolls and add to the mystery of these charismatic giants.

Six Senses Laamu and Ocean Dimensions look forward to furthering the research of the Manta Rays found at Hithadhoo Corner and working together with the Manta Trust to ensure a vibrant, sustainable future for our local Manta Ray population.

http://mantatrust.org

Green Fins:

Ocean Dimensions - Laamu
We are partners with the Green Fins organisation who are interested in protecting the underwater environment world wide through guidance and support initiatives.

The Green Fins mission statement is “to protect and conserve coral reefs by establishing and implementing environmentally friendly guidelines to promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling tourism industry”.

Centers that choose to follow the Green Fins Code of Conduct have to attend a training session followed by annual assessments of their center to ensure that they are minimising their environmental impact.

We are visitors to the underwater world and we have to ensure our impact is a positive one, enabling us to come back and visit and enjoy this unique world for many more times to come.

Many guests that come to the Maldives for the first time can immediately see how unique the marine life here is, but are not aware of its fragility.

As a dive and watersport centre we are ambassadors of the underwater world and are in the perfect position to teach environmentally friendly guidelines that help Maldivians, tourists, divers and snorkelers to understand and to protect our fragile natural ecosystems.

http://www.greenfins.net