MALDIVES: I meet Hassan Hamid on a sunny morning when the ocean shines turquoise to snorkle around the island of Huvafen Fushi where he is responsible for the coral adoption program. His father was a fisherman, but Hassan Hamid gets seasick. He loves the sea, but he is more interested in learning how everything relates. He started as a diver for the State Ocean Research Institute, taught himself about the fishes and plants and then the institute send him to Malaysia to get an extra education. It is a pleasure to go on an underwater tour with him.
What are the most beautiful fishes we will see around?
Long Nose Butterfly Fish, Regal Angel Fish, Powder Blue Surgeon Fish.
Your tip to snorkel around the island?
The most beautiful corals are near the SPA site, around the pavilion and you will see the coral nursery. Overall the underwater landscape is perfect for a great variety of sealife. You will see stingrays, sharks and many more.
Most important: Don’t step on the corals otherwise they are dead. Huvafen Fushi is perfect for snorkling, nowhere else in the Maldives do you have the corals so close to your doorstep.
What about sharks? How do you keep calm when you get surrounded by one or more sharks?
First adjust to the water. Breath calmly, don’t be afraid. When you get tired, just Relax and float, don’t move too much. They are able to hear your heartbeat and they feel if you are nervous and afraid. Keep that in mind and think that in a year only five people get killed by sharks, and more than 100.000 get killed in car accidents. Sharks only attack when they get attacked. Nothing has ever happened in the Maldives before.
How does the coral adoption plan work?
You can adopt a coral for 60USD. Your coral has a number tagged to the seeding pot. It will be nurtured in the coral nursery and later planted at a spot in the sea. We will make pictures of your coral when we plant it and again after 6 + 12 months, so that you can see the progress.