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Destination|Experience, 21.Nov.2021

Conscious luxury | Marine conservation at our Maldives island resort

As a luxury island resort in the Maldives, The Nautilus owes its exquisite natural beauty to an incredible natural phenomenon: the Baa Atoll. This coral reef that encircles our island paradise teems with diverse sea life; it’s no surprise that the atoll has been classed as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. And it’s also no surprise that it has become a favourite holiday destination for travellers around the world, with its vibrant marine life, tropical islands, white sandy beaches and crystal-clear lagoons.

1. Conscious luxury is at the heart of The Nautilus Maldives

As the Maldives became a tourism favourite, the hospitality industry grew quickly in response. With this growth came the responsibility to protect our marine ecosystem, the intricate, complex biome – a beautiful balance of existence – that is home to so much life. And since this biome’s natural beauty is the main attraction drawing visitors to our little paradise, conservation is not just our ethical duty: our communities and livelihoods depend on the environment’s preservation. We, too, are connected with the ecosystem.

And so, we make every effort to preserve our natural heritage, giving it the respect it deserves – by enjoying its treasures, absolutely, but also by committing to its conservation and rehabilitation.

 

Snorkelling with Manta Rays at The Nautilus Maldives

2. Our conservation philosophy

The conservationist Baba Dioum once said:

“In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.”

As such, we believe that conservation begins with education and outreach – the most powerful tools one can use in the fight to protect our oceans. Our resident marine biologist, Mariana Pereira, leads these efforts, introducing guests, young and old, to the beauty of the marine ecosystem and providing practical ways to get involved in its preservation and rehabilitation.

3. Educational talks on the island

Mariana presents regular talks at our resort, her passion for marine biology infectious, as she describes the underwater wonders. These wonders centre on the vivid, complex ecosystems of the coral reefs – spectacular structures created by animal polyps growing together in colonies – which attract thousands of marine species.

Mariana will show you how to identify reef fish families, she’ll share with you which species of sea turtles lay their eggs on Maldivian shores, and she’ll explain why manta rays choose this particular part of the world to gather in huge numbers every year.

She’ll also explain the vital, inspirational work of marine conservation – work that is essential to the wellbeing and future of ocean ecology that, while rich and majestic, is also fragile.

 

4. The importance of the coral reef

The Maldives’ coral reef system is considered the seventh largest on Earth, representing 3.14% of the world’s reef area. This system provides food and shelter for numerous sea organisms, and much more besides. For example, reefs protect the coast from storm surges by dissipating the waves’ energy as they approach the shore; they absorb harmful pollutants like carbon, in the same way that trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; and they are fundamental to the fishing industry, which feeds people the world over.

5. The Nautilus’s coral adoption programme

As part of our commitment to rehabilitating the coral reefs, Mariana works to increase the coral coverage of The Nautilus’ house reef. As coral is broken off from the reef – due to strong waves or diving fins – the fragments are collected and reattached to coral frames, to grow and repopulate the degraded areas of the reef.

As part of this effort, guests are invited to engage with this important work in a very personal way by adopting a coral frame. Once back home, you can monitor your adopted coral’s growth, via image updates online, giving you a one-of-a-kind souvenir of a once-in-a-lifetime holiday escape, a living souvenir that does so much more than capture a special memory.

 

6. Stewarding Our Natural Heritage

Beyond coral rehabilitation, The Nautilus also has other policies and activities in place to ensure the conservation of this idyllic Indian Ocean locale. Nesting turtles are monitored and protected, and escorted back into the ocean safely and quickly. A state-of-the art water and STP plant ensure no contaminants enter the ocean. And, because the reef and lagoon are marine-protected areas, you won’t find any fishing, crab hunting and lobster catching activities.

 

Why not embrace this unique opportunity to discover the Baa Atoll’s natural treasure – while helping to preserve its beauty? Start planning an island escape that combines indulgent luxury with conscious care. Get in touch with us at hello@thenautilusmaldives.com.

 

 

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