Six Senses Laamu celebrates anniversary of its Sea Hub of Environmental Learning (SHELL)

4 mins read

Six Senses Laamu commemorates the one year anniversary of its Sea Hub of Environmental Learning (SHELL), a dedicated initiative towards marine conservation and environmental education. The resort unveiled the SHELL in March 2023, and the 217 square meter immersive exhibition space invites resort guests, hosts, and Maldivian residents to explore and learn about the vibrant local marine life. 


Over the past year, the SHELL has welcomed 24 distinguished visitors, including renowned naturalist and BBC presenter Steve Backshall. Engagements with university professors, researchers, and even astronauts have led to valuable partnerships and research collaborations.

The SHELL also houses a working marine laboratory run by the Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI), and three partnering NGOs: Manta Trust, Blue Marine Foundation, and the Olive Ridley Project. Currently, the research team comprises over ten marine biologists.


The SHELL expanded MUI’s research capabilities, with notable projects including coral larval restoration and sea turtle DNA analysis. Ten thousand baby corals from over five different species are currently grown at the SHELL. Over 12 million coral larvae have already been released onto the resort’s house reef. The turtle genetics project involves taking genetic samples from deceased hatchlings and continues to contribute to a better understanding of the Maldivian sea turtle population.

The MUI team has also conducted numerous research initiatives, such as the identification and registration of over 1,000 turtles and more than 140 manta rays in Laamu Atoll. These research projects contribute to a wider understanding of Laamu’s marine life and environment, resulting in the publication of a peer-reviewed scientific paper on marine megafauna and blue carbon analysis of seagrass and mangrove habitats.

Beyond research, the SHELL serves as a space for exploration and education. Six Senses Laamu has welcomed over 300 community members to the SHELL over the past year. A key initiative, the “Hello Hallu” program, was designed to inspire and motivate students to actively participate in preserving their local ecosystems. 

The program achieved widespread impact by reaching every school across Laamu Atoll, engaging 237 students in total. Together, with the MUI team, students explored the habitats of Laamu, including mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs, as well as sustainable fishing practices and megafauna.


The SHELL was honored with the Aspire Sustainability Initiative of the Year Award in 2023, recognizing the groundbreaking sustainability efforts by Six Senses Laamu and showcasing the resort’s commitment to marine conservation.

“The SHELL is an incredible achievement from our efforts in research, education and community engagement,” says Lawrence Menz, Six Senses Laamu’s Director of Sustainability and Conservation. “It began as a dream over 5 years ago and marks several milestones in Laamu Atoll’s marine conservation. Since its opening, we were able to welcome over 6,000 guests and members of the local community in the SHELL. The greatest reward for us is hearing local students expressing their newfound inspiration for their island home, stating that visiting the SHELL has encouraged them to share the importance of conservation with their parents, family, and friends.”

Six Senses Laamu’s General Manager, Marteyne van Well, also commented, “The SHELL serves as a testament to our unwavering dedication to environmental stewardship, providing a dynamic platform to inspire, educate, and contribute to the ongoing conservation efforts in the Maldives.”