The opulent property, Reethi Beach Resort has partnered with Maldives Whale Shark Research Program (MWSRP) for the second consecutive year. The partnership is further supported by the resort’s parent company, SC Capital Partners Pte Ltd. paving the way for a local program with a global impact.
MWSRP was founded with the mission of better understanding the whale shark population dynamics in the Maldives and how these fit into the species’ continued existence in the wider world. As a charity, the program’s main objectives are to promote, for the benefit of the public, the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment of the whale shark and marine biological diversity.
Despite its famed reputation as the largest fish in the ocean, Whale Sharks encounter life-threatening threats, almost entirely caused by anthropological factors. Currently, it is difficult to determine the exact number of whale sharks alive today, however, their populations have drastically fallen by 50% and are still in active decline. The need for protecting these gentle species is realized now more than ever especially, as they play an instrumental role in managing marine ecosystems.
The nature-based motivation for conserving these species ultimately contributes to the economic incentives for protecting and conserving them too. The Maldives being a popular destination for Whale Shark tourism means that it directly impacts local livelihoods in the country and helps to provide an alternative income to fishing whale sharks. Whale Sharks have been protected by law in the Maldives from 1995 onwards, and through collaborative efforts by organizations such as MWSRP with stakeholders like Reethi Beach Resort and SC Capital Partners, it can drive community-centric initiatives to implement effective protection practices.
As part of this partnership, SC Capital Partners and Reethi Beach Resort will jointly sponsor the MWSRP to carry out intensive research in Hanifaru Bay where Manta ray gatherings and Whale Shark aggregations frequently take place. Moreover, the partnership will also facilitate educational trips for Maldivian youth to create both awareness about marine conservation and share information about potential job opportunities in this line of work. MWSRP will be further supported by Ocean Fantics – a water sports & dive centre based on the island – who will assist them navigate and collect data in the upcoming research project.
As one of the founding members of the Baa Atoll Resorts United (“BAARU”), which collaborates with resorts in Baa Atoll to discuss and address environmental issues collectively, Reethi Beach Resort is delighted to once again support MWSRP through the support extended by SC Capital Partners Pte Ltd. to contribute to the continuous research and conservation of these spotted giants. The partnership also aligns with its stance on sustainability in the hospitality industry. Reethi Beach Resort has also been awarded the Green Globe Certification for its sustainability commitments and best practices.