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World’s Largest 3-D Printed Reef Installed at Summer Island Maldives

Yo-Han Cha

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The world’s largest 3-D printed reef was submerged at Summer Island Maldives this summer, in what is hoped could be a new technology-driven method to help coral reefs survive a warming climate. The artificial reef, assembled with hundreds of ceramic and concrete modules, was submerged at Summer Island’s ‘Blue Lagoon’ – a sandy part of the lagoon, where the resort hopes to create a new coral reef ecosystem.
The project started in a lab in Melbourne, Australia, where industrial designer Alex Goad of Reef Design Lab used sophisticated computing modeling to design reef structures similar to the coral reefs found naturally in the Maldives. A large 3-D printer whirred away for 24 hours to print moulds of the reef structures. These moulds were cast in ceramic – an inert substance, similar to the calcium carbonate found in coral reefs. The ceramic moulds were shipped to the Maldives, and filled with marine concrete on the beach at Summer Island. 220 ceramic, concrete filled moulds were then slotted together, like a giant LEGO set, to create
the new reef.


The new reef sits in seven metres of water, close to the resort’s existing coral nursery. Fragments of coral from the nursery are being transplanted onto the 3-D reef, where they will grow and colonise the structure. As Alex explains: “3-D printing technology helps us to develop more innovative ways of protecting coral reefs. The technology allows us to mimic the complexity of natural reef structures, so we can design artificial reefs that closely resemble those found in nature. We hope this will be a more
effective way of growing and restoring corals.”

In a year or two, when the corals have grown over the 3-D reef, the resort hopes to have a new, natural looking reef, teeming with fish and marine life. If the 3-D printing technology proves more successful at growing corals than existing coral propagation methods, it could be a novel way of helping coral reefs survive a warming climate.


The Maldives is one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable nations. Rising sea temperatures pose a grave threat to the world’s coral reefs, and mass bleaching events are becoming more common and more severe. Summer Island Maldives has implemented a number of recent environmental initiatives, including the adoption of solar energy, a ban on the use of plastic straws, phasing out imported drinking water, and coral conservation projects.

Summer Island Resort Manager Mari Shareef explains: “Projects like the 3-D printed reef are popular among guests, who like that we protect our environment. And it’s not only for the guests. Our staff, most of whom are Maldivian, want to protect their environment too. Ultimately, we want to help promote a culture of environmental stewardship, not just at Summer Island, but across the Maldives.”

Watch out for more from Summer Island coming soon from our Scubaverse photo-journalist, Yo-Han Cha, who is on location there now!

For more information about Summer Island in The Maldives, please click here.

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Join Regaldive for Maldives Whale Shark online event tomorrow!

Maldives DTA Team

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Divers can get an exclusive preview of Regaldive’s Maldives Whale Shark Extravaganza trip during an exclusive Zoom event where they will be joined by Chloe Winn from the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme and Romney Drury from Boutique Beach Resort.

The event takes place tomorrow, Saturday 8 January 2022, between 10:00 – 11:00am (UK time).

In this short presentation you can learn about the programme’s work, gain an insight into the large numbers of whale sharks in this region and find out how you can get involved. They will even share with you how you could name a whale shark!

Maldives Whale Shark Extravaganza from £2695 (excl. flights)

Departure Dates: 23 – 30 April 2022

Regaldive has just a couple of spaces left on this special group adventure to Dhigurah Island in the South Ari Atoll for a lucky few. Based at the magical Boutique Beach Resort and limited to a maximum of just 12 divers, this unique trip offers the opportunity of multiple encounters with prolific megafauna plus some action-packed diving at some of the Maldives’ most famous dive sites. You’ll also benefit from the expertise of Chloe Winn from the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme. Here’s some recent feedback from Julie who visited Boutique Beach a few weeks ago:

“We had a superb time. Everything was excellent – they did a fantastic job and made you feel part of the family. No wonder the place is so popular with return guests.”

Register to book your place at the Zoom event tomorrow and let the Regaldive Team know if you have any questions you would like to ask Chloe and Romney.

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Euro-Divers celebrates 50 Years in the Maldives

Maldives DTA Team

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Euro-Divers is celebrating an incredible 50 Years in the Maldives in 2022.

Euro-Divers first opened its doors to divers at Kurumba Maldives in 1972, this was shortly followed by Meeru Island Resort & Spa. Over the years, Euro-Divers has expanded its operation and built a solid reputation and brand name regarding safety standards, working conditions, and service philosophy in the Maldives and now worldwide.

Euro-Divers now operates 11 dive centres in the Maldives, 2 in Egypt, 2 in Mauritius, 2 in Spain, 1 in Oman, 1 in Thailand, and 1 in Japan. Their mission is to provide world-class diving, water sports, and excursions, giving clients access to the best locations in the world in a safe, friendly, and professional manner.

“Diving with friends” and “having fun together” has always been, and will remain, their philosophy. Over the years, Euro-Divers has built a strong community of repeater guests who enjoy a 15% repeater discount.

For the 50th Anniversary, the Euro-Divers team has created an incredible program with ‘special weeks’ in the different Maldives’ islands. Browse their Event Calendar here.

There will also be an online underwater photography competition from 1st March – 31st May 2022. Stay connected with their social media platforms for more details as information is released: on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

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