The Big Fish Network: Interview with Constance Moofushi

As one of the top 5 contributors to our citizen science program the BFN, we wanted to get to know Constance Moofushi and the staff who contribute so much to our research, a little better.

Mauro is a excursion guide working with the Dive centre (Blue Tribe) and Jasmine is the Marine Biologist for Constance Moofushi, they work together on their Whale Shark Trips and are both active contributors to the BFN.

What conservation work is Constance Moofushi currently involved in?

Jasmine: Currently my main project is our Coral Frame work with Reefscapers. We have 27 frames in our house reef growing and expanding our coral coverage. Our dive centre and myself also try and give as much data as we can to local research programmes such as MWSRP and Manta Trust.

Does Constance Moofushi have any long-term conservation goals you are working towards?

Jasmine: I think every resort should always look for ways to be greener and for new initiatives for conservation. For me, our long term goal should be to be 100% plastic free.

What inspired you to become involved in marine conservation?

Mauro: I want to learn as much as possible, when I was younger we weren’t taught much about marine biology, and I always want to learn more.

Jasmine: For me, it was always watching nature documentaries such as Blue Planet and going to aquariums. I’ve always loved swimming and the two seem to go hand in hand.

How important do you feel citizen science is to ongoing research?

Jasmine: I think its very important, it gives a chance for everyone to get involved and help towards a larger cause. It also raises awareness for all conservation work and how people can make a difference at home. Making us normal people feeling like we are helping scientists and have a helping hand in saving the world.

Do you feel like you are making a difference in the work that you do?

Jasmine: I think I do, especially during my evening presentations. When guests find out information that they never knew before, they understand that we actually need to much more research into the ocean and we need to protect them.

Mauro: I fell like I am making a difference because I am telling people how much Corals and the marine life are important to us as a Maldivian.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job at Constance Moofushi?

Jasmine: The most rewarding part is watching the guests see something that they have never seen before such as a Whale Shark or Manta. And also when guests give back to our cause by sponsoring a coral frame. It means that I am doing my job well by raising awareness about our oceans.

Mauro: I love snorkelling with the guests and seeing their faces.

What had been your most memorable experience in the Maldives so far?

Mauro: My favourite excursion is always the Whale Shark. This one time, I saw one female and one Male interact, the first time I have ever seen this and I have worked in Moofushi for more than 15 years. I was waiting for them to mate so I could video on my Go Pro- it didn’t happen.

Jasmine: My most memorable experience so far was a surprise visit from spinner dolphins on our house reef. I just thought my snorkel was making weird whistling noises, then suddenly a pod of roughly 30 dolphins just swam in the blue right next to me. Shame I was by myself!!

What is your favourite marine animal and why?

Jasmine: My favourite animal has always been a Blue Whale, just because of how big it is. If I was ever reincarnated, I would want to be a Blue Whale.

Mauro: Whale Shark because it’s very big and we can see them often, whereas a blue whale we cannot see much.

Is there anywhere in the Maldives that you haven’t been yet but would like to go?

Mauro: I would love to go to the underwater restaurant or room, so I can look at all the amazing wildlife without getting wet. (I’m Maldivian, so Maldives is my home. If I could go anywhere in the world, I would love to visit Japan and Europe)

Jasmine: I would love to go to Hanifaru Bay!

What one piece of advice would you give to all the aspiring marine biologist and conservationist out there?

Mauro:  I would love to encourage to have more Maldivian Marine Biologists. I think it’s very important because they understand how important our home is.

Jasmine: I think that any experience is good experience, I worked in several aquariums before this job and it helped me a lot. And also, never give up. If we all make small differences, it can make a big change.