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Maldives to open Marine Discovery Centre

Following its launch in Thailand's Koh Phi Phi island, the Marine Discovery Centre has commenced plans to open its next centre at Emboodhoo Finolhu, during the latter part of this year.

Rae Munavvar
19 May 2018, MVT 11:30
Marine discovery center
Rae Munavvar
19 May 2018, MVT 11:30

Following its recent inauguration at Thailand's Koh Phi Phi Island, the Marine Discovery Centre commenced plans last Wednesday to open its next centre at Emboodhoo Finolhu, during the latter part of this year.

Launched by the world famous Singha Estate company, the objective of the Marine Discovery Centre is to both showcase the beauty of oceans around the world and educate people about the importance of marine life that call it home, as well as to raise awareness amongst all travellers.

Marine Discovery Centre in Koh Phi Phi Island. PHOTO: MIHAARU

Located by the beach near Phi Phi Island Village, the centre has a tank measuring approximately 10 feet, for feeding and rehabilitating sharks. According to officials, the juvenile sharks inhabiting the tank had been rescued from local fishermen.

Marine Discovery Centre plans to take care of the sharks until they are strong and old enough to be released into the lagoon. More than half a dozen of the rescued sharks have already been freed.

Juvenile shark being observed at the Marine Discovery Centre in Koh Phi Phi Island. PHOTO: MIHAARU

The centre also has nursery tanks designed and built specifically to raise and breed young clownfish in an effort to replenish depleted populations. A spokesperson explained that the staff planned to release the clownfish, popularly called “Nemos” (after the Disney character created based on same species), back into the sea once they were mature and healthy enough to withstand life in the wild.

Assorted information about clownfish and various types of sharks are displayed throughout the Marine Research Centre. The establishment also offers different ways of experiencing and learning about Koh Phi Phi’s interesting and unique environment.

“Our main focus is to share our knowledge of marine life with the world”, said Mr. Dirk De Cuyper, Chief Hospitality Officer at Singha Estate.

Juvenile clownfish being bred at the Marine Discovery Centre, Koh Phi Phi, Thailand. PHOTO: MIHAARU

The initiative includes delivering educational talks on the behavior and characteristics of clownfish and different species of shark, as well as the many ways in which humans, and certain lifestyles, often harm marine life.

According to Mr. Cuyper, the centre planned for the Maldives will be in a much larger scale, compared to that of Koh Phi Phi island. He also mentioned that the Marine Biologist based in the centre had already made several trips to the Maldives.

“The underwater environment of the Maldives is both very beautiful and very different,” he said.

Staff pose with the informative displays at the Marine Discovery Centre in Koh Phi Phi Island, Thailand. PHOTO: MIHAARU

In his words, the conservation work being done to protect these marine creatures, and to educate people to refrain from causing harm to them, is for the benefit of future generations.

The Marine Centre also offers keen travellers the chance to partake in guided tours exploring popular tourist attraction, the coral gardens near Yoon Island which is otherwise closed for tourists in the interest of coral farming and rehabilitation.

The team behind the Marine Discovery Centre in Koh Phi Phi Island, Thailand. PHOTO: MIHAARU

Like the Maldives’, the Phi Phi islands are famous around the world for being as beautiful underwater as above, having spectacular coral reefs and abundant marine life. However, Singha Estate expresses concern that the tourists who come to enjoy its beauty, contribute to the destruction of its gorgeous, millions-of-years old, coral reefs.

The world is currently witnessing a rising global trend in the establishment of Marine Research Centres not just in Thailand, but with island nations like Mauritius and Fiji following suit, as efforts to end behavior that causes harm to the environment grow, and more people work to spread awareness about the importance of protecting the state of the many endangered species that live underwater and their equally (if not more) fragile habitats.

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