Innovation That Matters

The Maldives is looking for ways to protect its tourist-attracting marine eco-systems | Photo source Shifaaz Shamoon on Unsplash

Maldives ocean documentation project assesses the health of sea life 

Travel & Tourism

The month-long mission will survey marine life from the surface to a depth of 1,000 metres

Spotted: The Maldives’ highest point is only 2.4 metres above sea level, making the island nation the frontline of climate change resilience. To better understand the health of the surrounding ocean, the UK’s Nekton Foundation, along with the Government of the Maldives, is running a month-long research project focused on surveying marine life from the surface to a depth of 1,000 metres.

Very little is known about what lies beyond 30 metres of depth in the area, so most of the Maldives Mission is charting the uncharted. The Foundation’s overall goal is to work with global partners to increase the amount of ocean designated as marine protected areas (MPA) from 8 to 30 per cent by 2030.

By learning more about what lies beneath the surface of the country’s waters and how healthy the ecosystems are, the Government of the Maldives can create meaningful new MPAs as well as plan for additional actions for further environmental improvements. The health of the coral reefs, sharks, and rays are three of the focal points of the investigation as all three are crucial to the survival of the country’s tourism industry.

Mapping marine life is increasingly important to the global race to save the health of the planet. Springwise recently spotted two innovations using AI to expedite this research, with one project using autonomous ships to carry ocean-going drones, and another using trash-collecting robots to clear the seafloor of litter. 

Written By: Keely Khoury

Email: enquiries@nektonmission.org

Website: nektonmission.org

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