Be sure to read our monthly updates from Marine Savers – direct from our teams resident at
the Marine Discovery Centres at Landaa & Kuda Huraa – our collaboration with Four Seasons Resorts Maldives.

Landaa Giraavaru

This month, our Reefscapers team at Four Seasons Resort Landaa Giraavaru transplanted 38 coral frames, kindly sponsored by guests (15), online (8), and the Resort (15), adding a total of 1900 coral fragments to the reef. We monitored (cleaned, repaired, photographed) a total of 431 established coral frames at various sites around the island.

To see the progress of your frame, please visit our dedicated Four Seasons monitoring page where we upload new photos every 6 months or so.

  • 35 degraded frames (comprising a single corporate charitable sponsorship) were recycled, and relocated from a low-flow area (the Sea Bar) to the flourishing Elephant site.
  • 50 large new frames (plus 10 Resort frames) were delivered directly from our local Fulhadhoo workshop to Voavah Private Island, to fulfil the sponsorship from a generous family group in December. Thanks to our intrepid team of volunteer divers, we harvested ~1300 coral fragments required to transplant the 12 frames so far, and out-planted them on the south side of the island at a depth of 8 metres.
  • Gametogenesis – This month, we observed small white eggs in colonies of Acropora humilis (two sites), and pale pigmented gametes in colonies of both Leptoria irregularis and L. phrygia.
  • Coral Spawning – Spawning was observed in two colonies of Leptoria irregularis over the February full moon period.
Reefscapers healthy corals Maldives

Healthy corals

Reefscapers large coral frames for Voavah

Large coral frames for Voavah

Reefscapers large coral frames for Voavah

Team effort for Voavah

Reefscapers old degraded frame for recycling

Old degraded frame for recycling

Kuda Huraa

This month, our Reefscapers team at Four Seasons Resort Kuda Huraa transplanted 13 new coral frames, and monitored a further 91 mature frames at various sites around the island, to send out upated photos to our kind sponsors. 🙏

To see the progress of your frame, please visit our dedicated Four Seasons monitoring page where we upload new photos every 6 months or so.

Gamete Development & Coral Spawning

In preparation for the next spawning season, we have started gamete checks at two separate locations, looking for eggs in different Acropora species. We will be tracking the development of the gametes (gametogenesis) by observing the size and colour pigmentation of the eggs. In corals, the bundles will typically become a darker pink or red as they get closer to spawning. This month, we found white/pale eggs in the following three species: A. digitifera, A. hyacinthus, A. millepora.

Preparing for the Coral Bleaching Season

The ‘summer’ hot season in the Maldives runs from January to May, with March and April being particularly hot and dry. The extra hours of seasonal sunshine, combined with the current elevated global sea surface temperatures (SSTs) cause increased stresses on coral reefs (April-June), which can lead to temporary paling of the coral colonies, or even permanent coral bleaching and death.

Global climatologists are forecasting 2024 to be exceptionally hot, due to a combination of the cyclical El Niño event and the ever-increasing effects of anthropogenic climate change. Over on our Reefscapers Climate Change page, we are following developments very closely by curating the news reports from climate experts and marine scientists worldwide.

February saw the coral bleaching forecast jump from Level 1 to Level 2 in the coming weeks, for the entirety of the Maldives (NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch). This would mean higher ocean temperatures reaching the Maldives sooner than previously expected. Our teams are working hard to actively mitigate the potential damaging effects of the upcoming marine heat wave.

  • Our teams have started to move the healthy coral frames located in shallow, warmer areas of the house reef to deeper, cooler waters. We are refining our lifting techniques using a hook, rope, and an empty oil drum as a buoy, in what is a mammoth effort, with the help of our Resort volunteer colleagues. In the coming weeks, we aim to identify as many ‘at risk’ corals as possible, to give them the best possible chances of escaping the potential coral bleaching
  • We have marked a total of 225 corals (three species) across five different sites around Kuda Huraa. These colonies will be monitored over the coral bleaching season to assess the start of the paling, and the extent of any bleaching and mortality
Reefscapers coral maintenance
Reefscapers coral maintenance
Reefscapers coral reefs Maldives
SST 1998 2016 2023-24 C3S (Copernicus Climate Change Service)
NOAA Maldives_prod_quad_composite [2024-03-17]