Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort has announced the appointment of Danielle Stanley as the new resident marine biologist of the property. Danielle joined the resort team last March and already has ambitious plans for the events ahead to increase guest interaction and participation. Currently, the resort is gearing up to celebrate World Ocean Month, which runs throughout June.
At Outrigger Resorts & Hotels, ocean conservation is a core pillar of the brand and aligning with this brings a myriad of conservation activities via the Outrigger Zone – the premier beach resort’s global conservation initiative on marine and environmental protection. These activities will enable guests to learn about conservation efforts going beyond global campaigns such as World Reef Day on June 1, World Environment Day on June 5 and World Ocean Day on June 8.
During the month of June, Danielle and her colleagues will conduct a comprehensive variety of conservation events including coral planting, whale shark and manta ray excursions, hosting arts & crafts sessions and even streaming marine-themed documentaries. Apart from this, the team would also be carrying out educational trips for school children and will invite guests to partake in marine wildlife database and research activities.
Commenting on World Ocean Month, Danielle remarks “I am looking forward to raising awareness on the importance of healthy marine wildlife and ecosystems for our guests, hosts and local communities here in the Maldives. It is critical that we form a sustainable connection between people and our oceans.”
By taking part in the resort’s excursions, guests can help Danielle compile encounter sheets when they come across manta rays and other benign shark species in the surrounding waters. Speaking about sharks, Danielle comments that it is one of the top seven shark sanctuaries in the world. She adds “I want people to shift away from negative misconceptions about sharks. They are misunderstood animals. They are truly beautiful and critically important for the health of our oceans.”
Along with her passion for marine conservation, Danielle is equally keen on incorporating artistic creativity into her marine work. As such, she paints murals and invites little guests on the island to draw aquatic creatures or create art from materials they discover on the beach. Furthermore, she is also inspired by Madison Stewart aka ‘Shark Girl’ whose project Hiu aims to repurpose shark fishing boats in the Indonesian archipelago by turning them into marine excursion vessels operated by former shark fin fishermen.
Since taking her post in March, Danielle has introduced Monday and Thursday evening guest presentations where she highlights topics such as Maldives Megafauna, Life On Our Blue Plane, The Ocean: A Carbon Sink and Oceans and Climate Change. Additionally, she also delivers specialist presentations on sea turtles, whale sharks, manta rays and coral reefs while on Friday nights, guests can enjoy a delightful marine documentary at the resort.
Danielle grew up in Tanzania as a dual British-South African national. In 2022, she completed her postgraduate course in marine biology at Newcastle University in England. Inspired by the works of marine conservationist and author Sylvia Earle, she describes her as a legend in the world of marine activism. Besides this, Danielle is also an acclaimed underwater photographer. A shot of hers capturing a diver in the waters of Tanzania trying to remove a fishing line and hook from the mouth of a whale shark was shortlisted in the Environmental Photographer of the Year Awards 2022.