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Under The Sea with Anantara’s Resident Marine Scientist – Lindsay Sullivan
14 Oct 2010
For anyone who has snorkelled or scuba dived in the Maldives, the natural wonders of the world’s most famous underwater playground will undoubtedly have left a bank of unforgettably colourful memories. So imagine having clocked up 400 dives and adoring the ocean depths so much that you view the kaleidoscopic attractions not only as a holiday of a lifetime, but your office base to preserve them. Meet Lindsay Sullivan, Anantara’s resident marine scientist in the Maldives.
“I’ve always been drawn to the sea. For me, everything in it is utterly fascinating. It’s like being on another planet down there, an amazing, complex and very beautiful world which we still know so little about. Looking at the surface it’s merely a vast expanse of water. Put on a mask and take a look below and it’s almost impossible not to want to be a marine scientist!”
Lindsay spends as much time as possible talking about the marine environment with guests. She’s often to be found leading Anantara’s Dolphin Quest and guiding snorkelling excursions, as well as working as a Dive Master, all of which provide an excellent arena to interact with guests and help them understand what they are seeing in the water, with the aim of enriching their experience and instilling a sense of responsibility to be careful while enjoying the wonders the ocean.
“Guests are naturally fascinated by the underwater world and requests to know more about what they’ve seen are constant, simply because the underwater world is not only on our doorstep but practically everywhere you look. On top of excellent snorkelling inside the lagoon, guests can view a wide variety of marine creatures from their water bungalow, from the spa, from the restaurants and bars, without even entering the water themselves.”
Each week Lindsay delivers a presentation about the marine life of the Maldives which is a great way to spread the word about the importance of coral reefs, as without them the Maldives simply wouldn’t exist. “The more that people know and understand about ocean life – particularly the slow-growing, fragile nature of coral and that it is an animal not a rock – the better. I’m devoted to ensuring that Anantara’s activities are conducted in a sustainable manner and in harmony with the marine environment. Our lagoon and nearby reefs are excellent sources of marine biodiversity; all we need do is look after them and they could be ours to enjoy long into the future.”
“The saddest aspect of my job is that on a daily basis I witness the negative impact of people on the ocean. Every day I see trash floating in the ocean. Day after day I see divers clutching coral to steady themselves or crashing into it while trying to take a photo of a fish, and snorkellers who accidentally kick the reef or intentionally stand on it to rest from swimming.”
In a world where it seems that we are surrounded by environmental destruction, Lindsay views The Coral Nursery at Anantara as a great way to give something back to nature. The initiative involves replanting broken pieces of coral, with the reef conservation serving as a crucial educational tool for kids. Accompanying the satisfaction of helping the next generation of divers and snorkellers to explore the ocean responsibly, comes the privilege of being a part of someone’s very first underwater experience and watching their face come to life as they encounter their very first glimpse of marine life.
Looking to the future, Lindsay has her sights set on the stakeholders who would benefit from her professional reef consultancy. From dive centres to hotels and private island owners who desire to look after their coral reefs and therefore require advice on how to use their resources sustainably, playing a key role in the protection of coral reefs around the world is bound to hold even greater rewards for this devout protector of the high seas.
To download Lindsay in PDF form, click here