Conservation Projects and Initiatives at OBLU SELECT Sangeli
In January 2019, OBLU SELECT Sangeli initiated a reef conservation program in response to global warming, ocean acidification, and pollution.
The first step was to build a coral nursery to help restore the lost coral cover. Located in the main lagoon, the nursery uses the coral line method with 151 coral fragments twisted into seven five-meter-long ropes and propagated and grown. In addition, 60 metal frames with 2280 fragments were placed in 3 different locations around the island. These coral gardens include 15 frames in the main lagoon at 7-8 metres depth, 35 frames in front of the water villas at 2 metres depth and 10 frames in the lagoon side of the water villas.
Featured Image: OBLU Select Sangeli coral garden 2021
Making a Difference – Installing Over 2000 New Coral Colonies
The coral bleaching in 2016 had left the reefs around Sangeli island barren with coral rubble and sandy lagoon beds. However, under the eye of in-house Marine Biologists, the coral nursery got a shot in the arm and thrived in the last three years. These sites are nurtured and regularly monitored to remove marine debris and replant broken corals. Colonies on the rope structure are growing well and many of them are being transplanted to the house reef using a specific cement meant for underwater purposes. All credits to the efforts the lagoon bed now has a lush coral cover, with many fish and other marine animals visiting and inhabiting the frames
Marine Talks, organized twice a week, provide an overview of the local flora and fauna with a focus on corals, turtles, sharks, and rays. In-villa television screens feature an engaging video that outlines safe snorkelling practices, entry points into the lagoon and tips on avoiding touching or accidentally stepping on sea creatures and corals.
Ghost Net Bracelets
Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been abandoned, lost, or discarded at sea, on beaches or in harbours. In the Maldives the use of nets is prohibited however, due to the oceanic currents, large ghost nets often wash up on the islands.The resort removed four nets from the ocean and released the entangled animals back into the ocean. The most colourful threads from the nets were cleaned and repurposed into 100% recycled plastic bracelets. These ghost net bracelets were then sold to guests and the proceeds were all used to fund the coral restoration project.
Featured Image: OBLU Select Sangeli ghost net bracelets made from recycled nets
Protecting Hawksbill Turtles
Hawksbill Turtles are often found around the island of Sangeli. To protect these gentle creatures, the resort initiated a photo-identification initiative in collaboration with Marine Savers and Olive Ridley Project (ORP). A new turtle was identified in the Sangeli house reef and named Akiri, in honour of the island’s local name of Akirifushi.
Sea Turtle Nesting and Hatching
Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts has a Standard Operating Procedure to identify, monitor, handle, and release sea turtle hatchlings into the wild. First prepared and implemented at OBLU SELECT Sangeli, this procedure ensures that turtle nests and hatchlings found at the resorts are protected, thus increasing the likelihood of the hatchlings surviving once they reach the ocean
Featured Image: OBLU Select Sangeli coral garden 2022