Early this year, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani pledged to become potential Core Areas of a future national Biosphere Reserve.
Last week, a group of researchers, put together by IUCN and the Government of Maldives, visited our island in Noonu Atoll to conduct a series of ecological surveys in the extended reef of Soneva Jani.
The team, consisting of Dr Charlie Dryden, Ahmed Basheer, Ahmed Shan and Mariyam Shidha from IUCN and Saaif Mohamed Rasheed from Ministry of Environment and Energy, managed to manta tow the entire reefs of the resort boundary. Performed 14 rapid assessments, and completed 12 detailed transect surveys across 3 sites in Soneva Jani.
The results will only be ready in September 2017, but this exercise provides a great starting point to assess the conditions of the reef from now on. A couple of very healthy and interesting locations have been found around the island and a nice patch of branching corals in the Southern side of the shallow lagoon.
Stay tuned for more on Soneva Jani and the Biosphere Reserve.