Dream Job – Marine Biologist at Six Senses Laamu, Maldives
As of August 2017, Ocean Dimensions are now diving & snorkelling in the Unesco Biosphere Reserve in the Baa Atoll at Kihaa Maldives – the closest resort to Hanifaru Bay. We hope to see you there!
Have you ever wondered about what the responsibilities are and which activities a marine biologist covers in the Maldives? There is so much to do that at Six Senses Laamu we even have two marine biologists, Oscar Ignetik from Australia and Jenni Choma from the UK. Accompanying snorkel excursions and opening the eyes of our guests to the beautiful underwater world of the Laamu Atoll is not the only activity. Both are busy all day every day and here is what they do:
- Host training, as we have hosts from all corners of the world, not all can swim but everyone loves to learn about their surroundings, the marine environment and how to protect it.
- Education outreach on our neighbouring islands, eg. presentations at schools or talking with the fishermen
- Reef and beach clean up activities at Six Senses Laamu and neighbouring islands
- Several nights per week different marine presentations on corals, dolphins, sharks and turtles for our guests
- Four different surveys for the Marine Research Centre of the Maldives: 1. Coral Watch to assess coral health post bleaching 2016. 2. Fish Watch on 4 different fish species to collect data on numbers and sizes. 3. Shark Watch to collect data on numbers, sizes and behaviours. 4. Turtle Watch to collect data on numbers, sizes and behaviours.
- Monitor turtle hatchings to keep nests undisturbed and give hatchlings a safe start into the big ocean.
- Turtle ID and sightings database at our house reef. By taking photo ID pictures of each turtles we and of course the guests get to recognise the Green and the Hawksbill turtles who live on our house reef.
- Accompany dolphin cruises with our guests several times per week to record sightings and the GPS route to eventually understand population dynamics and movements throughout the Atoll
- Monthly post bleaching recovery survey on 4 different reefs at 2 different depths to monitor coral health, fish families and invertebrates along a fixed path as well as light intensity and temperatures with the “HOBOware” data logging system.
- Map the small seagrass patch to keep track of any changes
- Barnacle growth study on a few different items (eg. fishing net, plastic bottle) suspended by a line from a buoy near the reef to measure the barnacle growth for the Olive Ridley Project. The Olive Ridley Project’s main goal is to reduce ghost nets drifting in the ocean as Olive Ridley turtles which are the species that lives in open water and mostly gets caught in these nets
- Working together with the Manta Trust scientists who do research projects combined with conservation efforts here at Six Senses Laamu as well as world wide and the Blue Marine Foundation or also known as BLUE a charity which is dedicated to creating marine reserves and sustainable models of fishing.
- With more projects coming up…. for 2017 the set up of artificial reefs and coral lines are planned around specified locations in the deeper parts of the lagoon and on the reef of Six Senses Laamu
And I am sure we can come up with more projects…. thank you Jenni & Oscar!