A holiday at Innahura Maldives Resort would never be complete without a glimpse of the incredible marine life residing in the sparkling waters surrounding the reefs of the Lhaviyani Atoll. The array of snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities available will suit anyone from complete beginners to seasoned pros – you can browse some of the activities on the Innahura App to get a taste of the adventures awaiting you.
The underwater world of the Maldives is one of colour and life with countless weird and wonderful things to see. Some of the marine life is so well camouflaged that, at first glance, you wouldn’t even notice it. Scuba diving and snorkelling amongst the huge abundance of marine life here is extremely safe, you just have to look and admire but never touch – this is important to protect the reefs and inhabitants as well as keeping yourself safe too.
Some of the creatures to try and spot but not touch:
Black cheek moray – these live in crevices in the reef so don’t be tempted to hold onto the coral blocks to steady yourself – if you do, you might be in for a painful nip from the moray residing there!
Sting rays – a spectacular sight and often found swimming close to, or resting on the bottom, of sandy areas including sandy overhangs. Don’t block their exit from overhangs or dive closely overhead; the barb on their tail is only ever used in self defence when they feel threatened so give them space and admire from a respectful distance.
Surgeon fish – there are many different species with a huge variety of colour and pattern and can often be seen in large schools on the reef. They are characterised by sharp blade-like spines at the base of the tail – as long as you’re not flapping your arms about while diving or snorkelling amongst them, they pose no risk.
Barracuda – these long silver fish with a pronounced lower jaw and a mouth full of sharp teeth can look menacing, but as long as you’re not trying to feed them or waving your fingers adorned with sparkling rings in front of them, your sighting will be incident free.
Fire coral – not true corals but a hydrocorals, exhibiting similar characteristics to hydrozoans which can give an irritating sting if touched – follow the ‘don’t touch the reef’ rule.
Stone fish and Scorpion fish – these two are masters of camouflage, they look like part of the reef and it’s only when you look closely that you see their eyes and mouth and then the rest of their body. They have poisonous spines along their back so if you grab hold of one of these thinking it’s the reef it will be a very painful lesson. Immediate medical help should be sought. Challenge yourself to try and spot these fish and if you’re very lucky you may even see one extend their mouth open to gulp in a small fish should it stray too close.
Lion fish – one of the most flamboyant fish in the sea, the lion fish is very beautiful and looks like it has feathers for fins. As with the stonefish and scorpion fish, there are poisonous spines on its dorsal fins and will deliver a painful sting if touched.
Triggerfish – there and many different kinds of triggerfish but the titan triggerfish is the one to be aware of; when nesting they are extremely territorial and will chase divers or snorkelers away. They are often seen moving pieces of dead coral in the sand and a ‘crater’ type nest can sometimes be spotted – do not swim above them, swim around giving them lots of space.
Sharks – we are very lucky to have a huge variety of sharks in the Maldives, they are fascinating creatures and it’s a true privilege to spend time with them in their natural environment. You are not on their menu, simply enjoy and look forward to telling the tales to astonished friends back at home! If you are a diver and still a little unnerved about sharing the water with sharks, take the opportunity to complete the PADI Maldivian Shark and Ray Diver specialty course with Prodivers during your holiday and soon you’ll love them as much as we do!
Remember, divers and snorkelers are not the natural prey of marine creatures, but we are visitors to their world so dive and snorkel respectfully and you will enjoy fabulous adventures with safe and unforgettable close encounters.