Six Senses Laamu Launches Home-Based Junior Marine Biology Program
- Özgür Töre
Starting Monday April 13, budding conservationists can get ready for a new type of home school program where turtles are teachers and reef fish can be made out of egg cartons and bottle tops.
Sad to not be greeting their usual students on the beautiful shores of Six Senses Laamu, the resort’s team of marine biologists will host short videos and demonstrate activities that anyone can try at home.
The course is open to everyone and there will be content available and suitable for all ages. The team is expecting some very special events over the next few weeks on the island, including turtle hatching in May, which they will do their best to stream.
Each week, the team will take turns to introduce manta rays, corals, turtle and reef fish. Families can explore seagrass and mangroves and learn how they are vital habitats for supporting a diversity of marine life. Broader topics cover science research, sustainability and how to stay involved over the longer term.
Although the structure, by necessity, is slightly different to what children might enjoy on vacation in the Maldives, the objective is the same. It aims to help foster an understanding of marine biology and see first-hand the importance of marine conservation. It may also come as a relief to parents who may be running out of ideas (or enthusiasm) for home schooling.
The Junior Marine Biology program, which launched a year ago, was initially inspired by a young guest at Six Senses Laamu. Unable to join his parents on dive trips, he ventured out with one of our marine biologists on a shallow-water snorkel. His curiosity inspired the team to create the program for all like-minded marine enthusiasts. Sessions are led by one of 10 biologists, each of whom specializes in different aspects of marine science and science communication as part of their work with the Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI). Over the past year, they have run hundreds of hours of private sessions and certified dozens of junior marine biologists.
MUI is an initiative by Six Senses Laamu in partnership with three NGOs: Blue Marine Foundation, the Manta Trust and the Olive Ridley Project. The mission is to lead the tourism industry in the Maldives by undertaking meaningful marine conservation focused around the three pillars of research, education and community. One of the team’s many pioneering projects includes an underwater contactless ultrasound scanner for Laamu’s resident population of pregnant manta rays in order to study gestation and embryonic development and guide conservation strategies. MUI was also recently honored with the ‘Best for Wildlife and Nature Conservation’ Award for its #ProtectMaldivesSeagrass campaign at the World Travel Market’s Responsible Tourism Awards.