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Baa Atoll Marine Biology Internship concludes successfully

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru hosted its second edition of the Baa Atoll Marine Biology Internship in June.

Ameera Osmanagic
11 June 2024, MVT 21:21
Closing ceremony of the Baa Atoll Marine Biology Internship at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru | Photo: Four Seasons Resort Maldives
Ameera Osmanagic
11 June 2024, MVT 21:21

The Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, in collaboration with Baa Atoll Council, Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve, Reefscapers and Maldives Manta Conservation Programme (MMCP) have successfully completed its second Baa Atoll Marine Biology Internship.

The programme, which was first carried out in 2023 with the aim of inspiring a new generation of marine biologists, invited 24 students from ninth grade to visit Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru this year for a three day intensive programme to learn about marine biology, conservation and sustainability.

The program held from 5th to 8th June focused on educating students about manta ray and ocean conservation, along with coral reef ecology. Additionally, students had the opportunity to participate in a reef survey while snorkeling, with prizes offered for spotting the most number of target fish species.

The programme also included a dolphin watching cruise, a behind-the-scenes tour of the sustainability projects carried out at the resort, as well as the opportunity to play a friendly game of football against the resort's apprentice team. They also played dodgeball and volleyball with the marine biologists and were treated to a beach barbeque on the last evening.

"To celebrate world oceans day on June 8, the students built a coral frame with the marine biologists, planting more than 100 new corals onto the reef, before assisting to release Gina the sea turtle, who was injured by a ghost fishing net in January, back into the wild," the resort said.

The sea turtle had fully recovered when it was released back into the wild and was sent off with a satellite tracking tag attached, the resort further added.

At the end of the programme, participants were presented with certificates by Vice President of Baa Atoll Council Ibrahim Abdul Rahman in a special closing ceremony. Abdul Rahman thanked the resort for their ongoing commitment and hard work, and presented a plaque of appreciation to the resort for organising the programme.

"The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience, particularly the snorkelling and games night, and are excited to learn more about the underwater world in the future," the resort said.

As a follow up from last year's internship programme, the resort will be holding an advanced programme for those who interned in 2023, aiming to showcase the different career paths available to them which are linked with the ocean, conservation and sustainability.

"The students will spend time with the Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve team, help to monitor coral growth, and will even have the opportunity to try scuba diving," a representative said.

"The students who visited the resort this year as interns will have the opportunity to participate in the same advanced program next year. After this the students will have the chance to join the Reefscapers team at the resort as marine biology apprentices."

The resort's hope is that some students who move through the programme will be inspired to consider a career in marine biology or in a similar field.