Dive With a Purpose- Rescue Reef

Rescue a Reef: Crown of Thorns Starfish Removal​

Over 10,600 Crown of Thorns starfish have been successfully removed from Maldivian reefs since 2015. Continued efforts in 2018 will focus on eliminating even more starfish from infested reefs while collecting valuable data on their behavior. Understanding COTS genetics, and where they originate, is integral to preventing future outbreaks and reef damage.

Expedition divers will use a hands-on approach to remove COTS from the reefs and assist the Coral Reef CPR scientists in all aspects of their research. Trained in survey approaches and reef conservation methods, divers will conduct COTS surveys, sample collection, and collection of other reef damaging organisms such as cushion stars and coral-eating snails. In addition to COTS removal, a number of unique reef environments will be visited to explore for invertebrates and colorful fish communities. Measurements on the health of these reefs and fish communities will assist in tracking patterns of recovery following the 2016 bleaching event. 

In the evenings, guests will have even more opportunity to learn through workshops and discussions on the diverse marine ecology of the Maldives. Rescue a Reef education and participation will help save thousands of acres of reef by preventing future outbreaks of COTS.

20 divers will join each research expedition and spend 7 nights aboard the Carpe Vita Explorer. 3 to 4 dives will be offered daily visiting many unique reef environments. Divers who wish to join the expeditions must have a minimum of PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent, with 70 logged dives and excellent buoyancy control.

2018 Expedition dates: July 15 – July 22 / Jul 22-29/ Sept 9 – Sept 15

These expeditions are priced from USD 1,863 per person for the week and include:

  • 7 nights aboard the assigned vessel
  • 3 meals daily, plus between-dive snacks
  • 3 to 4 dives daily (except for on day of arrival and day before departure)
  • Use of tanks, weights, and belts
  • Drinking water, tea, and coffee
  • Airport transfers on the days of embarkation/disembarkation
  • Evening workshops on marine ecology, coral reef, marine life and more
  • Onboard marine biologists
  • GST 12%