Maeesha Mohamed, a scientist with Noo Raajje, has joined the National Geographic Pristine Seas scientific expedition, which set off today to collect scientific data to close data gaps in existing projects to create the Maldives' Marine Spatial Plan.
For the following month, the expedition will fly to Huvadhoo Atoll, Fuvahmulah, and Addu onboard Blue Force Three and carry out a number of scientific surveys to add to the knowledge acquired by earlier Noo Raajje trips. The information gathered during this voyage will be used to assist shape a long-term strategy for the Maldives' sustainable development.
Maeesha will join a distinguished group of regional and global scientists and ocean specialists, including expedition leader Dr. Keiron Fraser of the University of Plymouth, principal scientist Dr. Alan Friedlander, and regional marine biologist Aya Naseem. To assess the health of the south Maldives ocean ecosystems, they will work together to collect samples using techniques like Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVs), deep drop-camera surveys, micro-paleo, and microplastics sampling.
The crew will publish a scientific report and a brief movie summarising their results after the mission. This data will supplement material that Noo Raajje has already gathered for the country's Marine Spatial Plan through its Ocean Use Study, prior expeditions, and countless stakeholder and public meetings.
For Maldives students and youngsters, the expedition crew will also host a live online educational talk and Q&A session aboard the expedition ship.
"This voyage will increase our understanding of the Maldives' marine ecosystems, which is essential for the ongoing management of marine resources. According to Dr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan, Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources, and Agriculture, this is also a chance for Maldivians to gain a deeper understanding of their ecosystem and deepen their love and admiration for the ocean.
"I'm happy to be a part of this voyage, which will not only help us learn more about the southern Atolls' marine ecosystem and better pinpoint regions that require protection. Trips like these strengthen the scientific justification for safeguarding marine areas and assist the government in developing science-based policy, according to Maeesha Mohamed, Noo Raajje Science & Communications Liaison.
"The National Geographic Pristine Seas team has worked all over the world to safeguard some of the most important areas in the ocean," said Dr. Alan Friedlander, the project's chief scientist. We are visiting the Maldives for the first time, and this is a fantastic chance to learn more about the distinctive ecosystems in the southern atolls. In order to create a bright future for Maldivian communities, the economy, and the environment, our team is thrilled to support the objectives of the Noo Raajje cooperation.