World Oceans Day on June 8th is an annual event to celebrate the World's oceans, and to show our appreciation for the goods and services the ocean provides such as seafood, medicines, trade routes, and economic revenue. It’s also a day for education; to spread awareness of conservation issues and protect these goods and services we often take for granted. At Gili Lankanfushi, I put together a program for the day, which all guests were invited to join in on.
All day, from 8am until 5pm guests were encouraged to come down and try out some of our exciting water sports! Kayaks, windsurfers, and paddle boards criss-crossed our lagoon throughout the day.
The morning was filled by Marine Biologist guided snorkeling of our One Palm Island reef which included a short presentation about the fishes we were likely to see! On these reef tours, I am usually able to point out lots of cryptic reef critters our guests have never seen before, and today was no exception! We were even lucky enough to spot two green turtles during our snorkel!
Our Ocean Paradise Dive School held a Discover SCUBA Dive session in our pool for any guests interested, which was followed by a special presentation "Rainforests of the sea" delivered by myself at our Over Water Bar. The presentation covered biodiversity of reef systems, including a short snorkelers guide on the animals on our reef! We also discussed climate change and the impacts it could have on reef ecology, and how we might be able to mitigate these effects.
Our guests were given the opportunity to taste the goods of the ocean with our ocean inspired dinner menu developed by Executive Chef John Bakker at our By The Sea restaurant, which was comprised of sustainably caught seafood bought from local fishermen who use hand lining techniques which allows for very selective fishing and no by-catch!
Finally, to round off our action packed day of ocean appreciation, underwater themed movie 'The Big Blue' was screened at Horizon Beach under the stars!
This World Oceans Day was a great success. But here at Gili, our many eco initiatives help us to conserve and protect the ocean all year round, improving our surrounding environment and allowing for incredible natural experiences! We try to make each and every day as exciting as the next when it comes to celebrating our Indian Ocean!