Patina – Reef Conservation and Sustainability

Patina – Reef Conservation and Sustainability

When collaborating it’s important for us to have a reason to be there, and look at what their impact is, as well as our own. Patina does things differently, and that’s why it was a no brainer for us. From zero-waste kitchens and recycling marine plastic, to coral restoration, their ethos is based on sustainability and they have a commitment to perpetuality. Patina addresses waste in its supply chain and focuses on boosting the health of its guests, neighbours, and local environment, to ensure energy-positive operations. An example of this is when the island was in development thousands of trees and shrubs from neighbouring islands facing industrial clearing were rescued and planted. 

Perpetuality: The never-ending journey to making a positive impact on people and place.

As a company with an Ocean first philosophy, working with Patina Maldives allows us to have our products on the island with the lowest possible impact, while also helping with their sustainability projects. They have set ambitious goals to tackle marine plastic pollution and implement a comprehensive coral propagation project. In addition to these longerterm projects, Halevai Founder and longtime Parley for the Oceans crew member, Frank Heidinger, is collaborating with Fari Islands to bring a disruptive creativity to the environmental awareness of guest programming within the archipelago. For example, Patina Maldives will lead regular guest and team beach clean-ups both on-resort and on neighbouring local islands; for every stay, 10kgs of marine plastic will be collected, cleaned and repurposed into Parley ocean plastic material. The resort has also formed a strategic alliance with the Olive Ridley Project, a charitable organisation that provides rehabilitation to injured turtles from the Indian Ocean. Sea turtles are vulnerable to ghost nets and have a habit of consuming plastic waste, mistaking it for sustenance and leading to general ill-health and malnutrition. In addition to a donation effort earlier in the year, guests will also be encouraged to adopt a turtle during their stay at Patina Maldives, and dive deeper into understanding the threats to these peaceful ocean dwellers.


The resort also has its own Marine Biologist, Amelia Cody, who specialises in coral restoration. Amelia has shared more information about the large-scale restoration project that is underway that encompasses the Fari Islands.  “Coral propagation and fragmentation are taking place in several nurseries around Patina. Methods of direct transplantation are also being used to rehabilitate the coral reef ecosystem. In order for a diverse and rich marine sanctuary to be created around patina, the health of the reef ecosystem firstly needs to be managed and restored. Ocean conservancy has great importance in the perpetual journey of Patina, weekly reef and beach cleans, coral health checks and marine talks are activities offered to guests.” – Amelia Coady This is an ongoing project that Haeckels will work with Patina on over the coming years. Which we will give updates on as it develops.  Every member of the Fari Islands family also has a personal relationship with the coral that forms the reefs. Every department holds individuals with a passion for ocean conservation and an interest in coral reefs. These “Coral Ambassadors” help aid the marine biologist on monthly maintenance of the coral frames and report back developments of the project to inform all members of the Fari Islands family.


Along with reef restoration, the team at Patina are focused on protecting the reef, including cleaning it of any waste. Drifting FAD (fish-aggregating device) or dFAD are used to fish pelagic tuna as fish congregate around them, making it easier for vessels to locate schools of fish to catch with purse seines or hooks and lines. The rope or line directly beneath the buoy has a series of connected nets made of very fine mesh. These nets provide shelter in the open ocean for fish to aggregate near and to avoid predation. This means large predators, such as tuna and sharks, also move with these devices to predate upon the smaller fish seeking shelter. These FADs are deployed in very large numbers within the Indian and Pacific Oceans (and other areas). However, if they drift outside of their fishing ‘zone’, they are often abandoned by those who set them, which is a major ongoing problem. 

Recently an FAD was found to be entangled on the wall of the reef at a dive site called Trix Caves. The rope attached to the buoy was estimated to be 100 metres in length, reaching down to 30 m, weighing in excess of a ton. On the first dive, the netting and rope were cut free from the reef wall and some parts were removed. The second dive involved cutting the buoy free from the majority of the rope, which was then towed to Fari Campus with the help of MGH, who provided their boat & crew in this collaborative effort. The next dive focused solely on the remaining rope at 30m depth, a portion of which was fitted with floats and cut free, recovered at the surface. At this point, there is still a section of rope lying on the sandy bottom to be removed, which will be achieved by attaching more floats. This will be done in the upcoming weeks.

Patina are working in collaboration with Parley. Parley AIR is the strategy to end the fast-growing threat of marine plastic pollution. They believe plastic is a design failure, one that can only be solved by reinventing the material itself. To create change, we can stop producing more plastic right away and use up-cycled marine plastic waste instead. At Patina they have created Parley plastics collection points around the resort for guests to become aware of and actively contribute to this important upcycling initiative. Their focus is on sustainability in terms of packaging and suppliers, by trying to get all general supplies to reduce the amount of packaging and change packaging to more sustainable alternatives.


Patina has their own culinary concept on the island that is based on the nose-to-tail, root-to-leaf principle, not only minimising waste, but at the same time advocating the benefits of a plant-based diet. The resort is home to an organic garden that is run under the principles of permaculture. This reduces food miles and encourages guests to forage and learn about organic growing, soil health and the potential of plant-based nutrition. The kitchens operate on a zero-waste basis, while all off-island ingredients will be sustainability sourced and accredited by EarthCheck or the International Pole and Line Foundation, with local provenance a clear priority. All drinking water on the island is also produced and bottled inhouse with on-island water bottling plant, Nordaq. In addition, every cocktail and spirit served at Patina Maldives will eliminate 30 grams of carbon emissions in comparison to drinks crafted at beverage outlets with conventional labels. This is thanks to the world’s first low carbon, low waste spirits distribution technology – ecoSPIRITS, which nearly eradicates packaging and glass waste from the spirits supply chain.


Sustainability was crucial in the construction of the resort, and renewable materials were used for structures. This included the use of prefabricated, locally sourced, biodegradeable and reuseable materials. While all timber is PEFC-certified and sourced from 100 percent transparent supply chains. The sun is harnessed as power, saving 795 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. Water is preserved, filtered, and recycled as irrigation for our verdant landscape. The resort’s energy-positive ethos is further demonstrated by participation in global carbon sequester programmes that neutralise its carbon output. Future plans include investing in long-term Blue carbon partnerships and a solar-powered transportation fleet.