We couldn’t be more proud of our very own award-winning Resident Marine Biologist Cliona O’Flaherty. Cliona recently made quite a splash with an article in Forbes Magazine, which details Kokomo and her incredible marine efforts. The article takes an in depth look at Cliona’s passion for the ocean and the environment, and her journey from answering a Female Dive Instructor advertisement to becoming our Resident Marine Biologist – and the driving force behind Kokomo’s marine sustainability strategy.
Since joining the Kokomo team Cliona has introduced a number of conservation initiatives to the resort and our guests, such as the establishment of the Coral Restoration Project which sees Cliona and the Marine Services team undertake a number of methods that will help to protect the islands surrounding reef; the introduction of the Seabin Project which helps to reduce plastic found in the water, as well as the Adopt a Dive Site initiative with Project AWARE. Other notable achievements include enhancing and progressing our existing Manta Identification Program. A first of its kind in Fiji, Cliona - alongside the Manta Trust Fiji - has incorporated an acoustic tagging process, which enables us to find hot spot areas, collate data and increase protection for the mantas. Cliona has also been heavily involved in furthering the resort’s Dock to Dish Program. Read the full article here.
“One of the biggest challenges for any conservation work that anyone does, anywhere, is not just funding,” said Cliona, “but also logistics and services. It takes a very long time for things to get off the ground. But take, for example, the people who donated to the manta conservation research. Within the space of three months, a whole tagging project was created. “Kokomo provides a platform and wants to help not just in the next few years. They want to help now, which is amazing,” she gushed. “I definitely think we’re going to have amazing projects coming up.”