CORAL RESTORATION FERIDHOO IS THE 1ST CORAL GARDENING PROJECT AIMED AT RESTORING THE DAMAGED REEFS AROUND FERIDHOO ISLAND
Headquartered in Feridhoo Island, Alif-Alif Atoll, Maldives.
We are located inside the village a short step from the harbor, and more precisely at the NOOHIRI Diving & Water Sport Center, a PADI 5 stars resort organizing differentes type of aquatic activities.
MALDIVES: PRESENT, PAST & FUTURE
The Republic of Maldives consists of a chain of atolls that form a coral reef system that is critical to the nation's survival. Prior to the 1990s, the Maldives' coral cover ranged from 40 to 80%. However, coral cover has been severely impacted as a result of two mass bleaching events (1998 and 2016) and minor bleaching episodes in between. Branching corals, in particular, had a mortality rate of more than 98%. This dramatic situation, however, has proven that if action is taken, it will not be permanent, as evidenced by the slow and partial recovery of the Acroporid and Pocilloporid communities in 2015. Aside from the bleaching effect, maldivian coral reefs are still subject to natural and anthropogenic stressors that affect their health. Other stressors threatening reef health include coastal development, pollution, overfishing, and diseases.
OUR ACTION TO RESTORE THE REEF
From this need, we decided to stop prattling and start the Coral Restoration Project, an action plan aiming at involving students, universities, locals and even tourists to rebuild the damaged coral reefs. We first select sheltered areas with optimal conditions. Overthere, we install nursery structures, where small coral fragments could grow faster than they would do in nature. Once ready, we carefully transplant them in the suffering reef, to restore it. We are collaborating with the Council of Feridhoo and with the University of Padova.
Marco Patruno is an Associate Professor at the School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Padova, Italy. Prof. Patruno teaches Veterinary Histology, Embryology and Anatomy and his research interests are related to regenerative processes, muscle development and the potential of adult stem cells in the veterinary field. He is a member of the Doctorate School in Veterinary School and supervisor of Ph.D students (national and international).
Marine biologist - Local coordinator
Antonio Beggiato is a Marine Biologist recently graduated at the University of Padova, Italy. Antonio spent a portion of his academic career working abroad, more specifically in the Bahamas and in Norway; where he focused on the spatial ecology, management and conservation of different small and large pelagic shark species. He is a PADI scuba instructor and recenlty became the local coordinator for the Feridhoo Island Coral Restoration Project.
Luke Moir is a marine biologist from the UK, studying from Newcastle University, working in marine wildlife, conservation, aquatic animal rehabilitation, education and in aquaria. He has helped with the early stages of the project and continues to consult with Antonio and the rest of the team of the ground
Michela Zampieron and Claudio Lovato are the project's creators, founders, and financiers with Clever Sea PVT LTD shareholder, as well as the managers of Villa Rosa Guesthouse and Noohiri Diving Centre since 2017. Claudio was one of the first Italians to visit these islands, where he worked and developed important nautical projects.
Logistic Manager for Maldives
Mohamed Niham is the project's creator, founder, and financier with Clever Sea PVT LTD shareholder. He is a technical person and has good knowledge of operations and management. He is responsible for the relationships and contacts with maldivian institutions.
Muhkuthar Abdul Karem
Assistant & Dive Operator
Muhkuthar was born Feridhoo and during years he developed a deep knowledge of the reef and reef associated creatures inhabiting this island. He is a sail instructor and in 1997 he obtained the Divemaster certification. He made working experiences all over the Maldives and aborad, especially in Italy, where he remained for almost a decade.