A team of aquanauts are going to conduct a research study of Maldives oceans to identify ways to mitigate the damage caused by climate change. This is the first study of its kind and the team include only women. Two Maldivian women will also be joining this research. The research aim to find exactly what needs to be done to keep Maldives habitat while facing global warming.
Shafiya Naeem, Director General of Maldives Marine Research Institute and Farah Amjad, Research Assistant to the Nekton Maldives Mission will be joining crew of the Nekton mission. In addition, they will join submersible pilot Kimly Do.
The first survey of the project will start on 4th September 2022. The survey will cover ocean surrounding Maldives covering a depth of 1000 meters below sea level. The team will enter the deep uncharted waters to discover beyond the known 50 metres depth. This mission is a joint project between Maldives Government and UK marine research institute Nekton.
“Our objective during our submersible dives is to discover and better understand what our waters contain. So we can begin to protect what lives there and safeguard the environment more meaningfully”. Explained Shafiya Naeem. “We have 40 shark and 18 ray species at the apex of the food chain in our ocean and for the first time we’ll be able to identify their relative abundance at depth – which is a critical indicator to determine ocean health”.
99% of Maldives is ocean and the 1% land, sits an average of 1.5metres above sea level. Thus Maldives will be at risk with the rising ocean. Scientists expect to locate old beach line from 20,000 years ago from a depth of 120metres.
“The submersible’s transparent pressure sphere will give the perfect platform for observation, the basis of scientific enquiry”. “Combined with nearly a dozen cameras for video surveys and advanced technologies for sampling, we’re going to be able to explore and discover immense new parts of the country for the first time”. Explained Farah Amjad part of the crew for the research study of Maldives oceans.