In a collaborative research programme based at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA, The Maldives joins the world map for the 100 Island Challenge to describe the variation of coral reefs across the globe.
Carpe Diem Maldives is excited to expand on the Dive with a Purpose marine conservation programme this September in collaboration with Scripps Institution of Oceanography in the United States of America.
This year’s September Dive with a Purpose trip will initiate this collaboration with a week-long dive safari will replicate the methodology of the classical field surveys Scripps undertake, using innovative imaging and data technologies to archive reefs digitally and watch how populations change through time. Recreational divers joining the cruise will learn how to take their own reef images to recreate a virtual reality of the dive using special software.
During the Dive with a Purpose week on Carpe Vita from September 9th – 16th Dr Brian Zgliczynski, Project Director of the 100 Island Challenge will present to Carpe Diem’s guest divers the research work involved in the project and go diving with the Carpe Diem Maldives team and guests to lesser-known dive sites in Raa Atoll as they accomplish conservation tasks.
Professor Stuart Sandin, Director at the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (CMBC) Scripps Institution of Oceanography, says, “Our 100 Island Challenge team at Scripps Institution of Oceanography is excited to collaborate with Carpe Diem Maldives in efforts to learn more from the local coral reefs and to support management and conservation efforts in the region. Our team is consummately committed to supporting such efforts through sharing of best science and perspectives from locations worldwide. In pairing each of our efforts, we see an opportunity for the Maldives to join the global comparison of the 100 island challenge.”
On reefs visited with Carpe Diem Cruises and on the house reef at Carpe Diem Beach Resort & Spa coral reef science liaisons from Scripps will provide scientific context to coral reef observations through informational lectures, discussions, and general conversations.
Introducing the 100 Island Challenge and establishing core sites of the 100 Island Challenge in the Raa Atoll region of the resort, the September Dive with a Purpose programme will include an introduction to 3D imaging of coral reefs. The visiting scientists from Scripps will demonstrate use of 3D imaging within the context of the 100 Island Challenge, introduce workflow and approach for 3D imaging to guest divers, and create 3D models from guest-collected imagery, providing them with a 3D image as a take-home memento for participating in the dive with a purpose week.
Agnes van Linden, Assistant Managing Director of Carpe Diem Maldives says, “This collaboration with Scripps builds on the ground work we have done with various marine organisations over recent years in marine conservation and citizen science opportunities for our guests. The 100 Island Challenge is exciting for many reasons – the global participation, the quality and secured longevity of the research program and scientist involved, and we are thrilled to be making a relatively small yet significant contribution to global research. It’s meaningful for us, for our guest divers and of course, in the best interests of the environment.”
The 100 Island Challenge selects the locations taking a strategic approach, with an aim to capture the variability of environmental conditions that exist across modern coral reefs while assuring operational feasibility. Starting in September this year, the reefs identified in Raa Atoll will provide reliable and comparable data to complement existing research and management efforts among global partners. Scripps scientists will return in 2019 to complete the sampling and continue the research programme with Carpe Diem Maldives on the cruises and at the resort. With the professional and scientific sampling approach, the research results will contribute to a better understanding of the current state of coral reefs globally and provide invaluable insights into how and why the reefs are changing through time.
The Maldives is continuously rated as one of the top diving destinations in the world by international dive publications and awards. Made up of 26 coral atolls and crossing the equator, roughly 1,200 islands are home to some of the most beautiful, thriving reefs of rare and common coral, attracting every kind of marine life. The one week dive safari with Scripps runs from 9-16 September on Carpe Vita. The September Dive with a Purpose week includes:
- 7 nights on board Carpe Vita
- 3 meals daily, plus between-dive snacks
- 3 dives daily (except for on day of arrival and day before departure)
- Talks by visiting scientists from Scripps 100 Island challenge team
- Use of tanks, weights and belts
- Dive mask and fins
- Drinking water, tea and coffee
For more information, please enquire with your local dive travel agent or direct with Carpe Diem Maldives at [email protected]. For more information on the 100 Island Challenge, please visit 100islandchallenge.org