Marine Biology at Kuredu30 Nov 2020
Meet Emily, Marine Biologist at Kuredu Maldives’ Marine Center:
“I’m Emily Mundy, born and raised in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. I’ve always loved nature and being outdoors, and as a child was fascinated with the ocean. Growing up in a landlocked country motivated me to seek out underwater adventures, and I did my first ever scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, and immediately fell in love. During my university years in South Africa I saved up to do my Scuba courses, and spent several years traveling through South East Asia volunteering with coral reef restoration projects and working as a Dive Master on dive safari boats. Those experiences opened my eyes to the many widespread issues facing the health of the oceans, and so, determined to do my part for conservation I completed my MSc in the UK, after which I came to Lhaviyani Atoll, Maldives for the first time to work as an Instructor, where I first learned of the great work being done by the Olive Ridley Project.”
Emily’s work at the Marine Center comprises of two main parts:
Through identification of the sea turtles Emily can monitor their population in the Lhaviyani Atoll and she manages the atoll database for gathering the information. The data collected is then fed into a National Database of the Maldives where several Marine Biologists use the information to help build a picture about the Maldives Sea Turtle population as a whole.
Emily uses photos of the right and left sides of the sea turtles’ face to identify them – the number and shape of the scale arrangement in this area is unique – it’s painstaking work but it allows her to see if this is a previously sighted turtle or one that is new to the area.
Guests can get actively involved in the Marine Center’s work by sending good photos with clear side views of the Sea Turtle’s face, to Emily using the button below. Emily will let guests know if the turtle is already known to the database, or if it is new to science! If it is new, the guest has the opportunity to adopt and name the turtle.
Ghost nets are discarded or lost nets that float in the ocean, trapping marine life on their deadly and aimless drift. Often called the ‘silent killers’ of the oceans they pose a major threat to animals – entangling and killing them; guests visiting the Marine Center can view pictures of ghost nets. Whenever they are found, Emily records where they were found, what they look like and what kind of animals became entangled. The information gathered can help to figure out where the net came from and the Olive Ridley Project tries to take action to reduce the number by removal, reuse, education and community outreach programs.
When entangled sea turtles are found, still alive, if they are healthy they are released, or taken to either the Turtle Sanctuary in Naifaru or Baa Atoll for medical treatment and rehabilitation as required.
It’s clear to see that the Marine Center and the work undertaken there is a great asset to Kuredu and to life on the reefs of the Lhaviyani Atoll. To find out more about Emily’s work please send her an email or, for guests currently on Kuredu – pay her a visit at the Marine Center, a very warm welcome awaits.