Oblu Select Sangeli
Coral Conservation

Bringing Colours Back To Our Lagoon

Coral reefs, the magical underwater colonies, are now dwindling world over because of global warming, ocean acidification, and pollution. The coral bleaching in 2016 had left the reefs around Sangeli island barren with coral rubble and sandy lagoon beds. Without the life-sustaining reefs, marine life also dwindled. In response to these threats, OBLU SELECT Sangeli initiated a reef conservation program in January 2019.

The first step was to build a coral nursery to help restore the lost coral cover. Located in the main lagoon, the nursery uses the coral frame method. More than 150 metal frames with more than 7000 fragments were placed in 2 different locations around the island. The coral nursery thrived in the last four years. These sites are nurtured and regularly monitored to remove marine debris and replant broken corals.

Thanks to all the conservation efforts, under the watchful eye of in-house Marine Biologists, Giorgia and Shah, the lagoon bed now has a lush coral cover, with many fish and other marine animals visiting and inhabiting the frames. Snorkelers can see a myriad of ocean life with parrotfish, snappers, eagle rays, sharks, and many other fish species and invertebrates.




  • The OBLU SELECT Sangeli line of eco-apparel made in partnership with OceanЯ, an Irish brand that produces sustainable apparel. The eco-friendly beach wear is made from 100% recycled polyester, primarily from plastic bottles collected from the ocean. Each piece is equivalent to 1 kg of plastic removed from the sea. You can select from a set of Rash Vests and T-shirts with the Sangeli Muraka Project logo and trendy marine themed artwork. Since launching in 2023, through this project with OceanЯ, OBLU SELECT Sangeli has prevented 960 bottles from entering the ecosystem. OceanЯ also measures the number of overall kilos of waste that was extracted from the ecosystem for the purpose of production and recycling, and for OBLU SELECT Sangeli this is estimated to be 90 Kg.

Learning Lessons

  • Marine Talks, organized once a week, provide an overview of the local flora and fauna with a focus on corals, turtles, sharks, and rays.
  • In-villa television screens feature an engaging video that outlines safe snorkelling practices, entry points into the lagoon and tips on avoiding touching or accidentally stepping on sea creatures and corals.


Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been abandoned, lost, or discarded at sea, on beaches or in harbours. They are a major contributor to the bigger problem of ghost gear, which refers to all types of fishing gear, including nets, lines, traps, pots, and fish aggregating devices (FADs), that are no longer actively managed by fishers or fisheries.

Each year, ghost gear is responsible for trapping and killing a significant number of marine animals, such as sharks, rays, bony fish, sea turtles, dolphins, whales, crustaceans, and sea birds. They can cause further destruction by smothering coral reefs, devastating shorelines, and damaging boats. In Maldives the use of nets is prohibited but, due to the oceanic currents, big ghost nets can be found around the islands. This happened also here in Sangeli. The colleagues at the resort removed several nets from the ocean and released the entangled animals back into the ocean. The most colourful threads from the nets were cleaned and repurposed into 100% recycled plastic bracelets. These ghost net bracelets are sold to in-house guests for USD15, and the proceeds are used to fund the coral restoration project.


  • Support the Sangeli Muraka Project by adopting one of our handmade crocheted soft toys. (USD50 big size or USD25 small size/keychain) These toys are sustainably crocheted by a local artist in the shape of sea turtles and manta rays – two marine megafaunas regularly identified around Sangeli.
  • The toys can serve as a souvenir or a gift for a loved one where the proceeds go into helping the very reefs these animals depend on for survival. A certificate of adoption is presented with each toy.


Five out of the seven species of sea turtles are found in the Maldives. Out of which the Hawksbill and the Green turtle are more commonly encountered by snorkelers and divers. Today, all these species are under threat of extinction due to several reasons. Plastic pollution, loss of nesting habitat and becoming bycatch in commercial fishing operations are some of the threats they face today. Moreover, sea turtles are extremely vulnerable towards discarded fishing nets, that entangle and kill these marine reptiles in a gruesome manner. With their decreasing numbers, it has become vital to conduct research on their population in the Maldives.

The Olive Ridley Project and Marine Savers are two organizations that works towards sea turtle research, rescue, and rehabilitation. The marine team of Sangeli island provide these organizations with data through photo identification. Photo ID is a non-invasive, sustainable way of tracking turtles. The facial scale pattern on each turtle is unique. Through this, we can identify them individually and over time learn much information about them such as growth rate, migration patterns, sustained injuries and healing progress, nesting frequency and much more. Sangeli marine team has been providing data to these organizations since 2021 in two key locations, Sangeli House Reef and Makunudhoo Reef further south in the atoll. Over the past two years we have identified a total of 42 sea turtles, out of which 15 were newly identified individuals to the database. Our in-house guests are encouraged to submit their own data photos from personal encounters, which are then processed to see whether it was sighted before or if it is a new individual. If it happens to be a new turtle to the database, the guests can name it. Those who identify new turtle gets a certificate of contribution from these organization and will also receive update on their turtle every time its re-sighted.


Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts has a Standard Operating Procedure to identify, monitor, handle, and release sea turtle hatchlings into the wild. First prepared and implemented at OBLU SELECT Sangeli, this procedure ensures that turtle nests and hatchings found at the resorts are protected, thus increasing the likelihood of the hatchlings surviving once they reach the ocean.


Prior to the event, the marine team identifies areas that are affected by discarded waste. This includes not just the reef of Sangeli island but the neighboring reefs that are visited during excursions. Regular clean ups are vital for the reef’s health in a long-term context. Corals are slow to grow, yet the slowest growing is often the most resilient. By cleaning the reef regularly, we allow these resistant corals to flourish and go back to how they were prior to being negatively affected by anthropogenic threats.


A large part of marine conservation is education. And as such, our in-house guests have the chance to learn all about the local marine life, either through the weekly presentations or one-on-one interactions with a marine biologist during excursions. However, we believe this knowledge should be shared beyond just Sangeli island. Our community outreach events are conducted to increase awareness among local school children, stakeholders, island councils and governing bodies about the current state of our marine environment. Such events help inspire the next generation of ocean guardians from the local islands. These outreach programs are done in partnership with other conservation organizations, that focus on specific areas of conservation such as sea turtles, manta rays, sharks, and sustainable fisheries.