The cost for this opportunity is approximately 700- 850 USD pp (supplement 100 USD for upper deck cabin) and includes transport from the airport to the dive vessel, food, government taxes, ensuite cabin and a contribution to Maldivian coral reef conservation.
The spacious Carpe Diem Fleet's boat includes single and double occupancy cabins, each with an ensuite, a large shared lounge area with WI-FI and television, outdoor restaurant and bar and a sundeck with ample sunbathing areas. One of the fleet’s boats even has a hot tub. A separate traditional Maldivian diving dhoni holds all dive gear and tanks, making all diving activities smooth and hassle free. Packages include 3 to 4 dives a day.
Divers can join a special 7 day live-aboard dive excursion that will focus solely on the removal of crown of thorns starfish (COTS). Two boats from the Carpe Diem Fleet (Carpe Diem and Carpe Vita) will be deployed to atolls where there are ongoing population explosions of the voracious coral-eating starfish (Acanthaster plancii). Divers will be trained in low-tech methods to collect the starfish. Each buddy team will receive large mesh goody bags, gloves, and PVC pipes for the collection of the starfish.
Each time you fill up a bag, they will send it to the surface using a safety sausage, and bags will be collected by the boat crew for disposal. Concurrently, you will aid the scientists in the collection of valuable data and samples of the starfish tube feet, so we can better understand their origin and work towards devising a strategy to prevent future outbreaks.