Cliona O Flaherty
She’s led the way on a coral restoration project, assisted in the development of the Seabin Project to Kokomo and Adopting a Dive Site with Project AWARE: she’s Cliona O Flaherty – a bloody legend – and this year’s Sustainable Practices Champion.
In March 2018, O Flaherty began the Kokomo Coral Restoration Project, focusing on restoring Kokomo Private Island’s reefs by selecting special heat resistant corals, fragmenting them and placing them in a nursery for six to eight months. After this period, the corals were transplanted back onto the reef, with guests and staff given the opportunity to participate in the process. “[B]usinesses that utilise the marine ocean and coral reefs for tourism should be making conscious efforts to protect it,” O Flaherty says.
One of the big achievements of the project was employing more than 150 staff, allowing guests to participate in the program and having planted around a thousand corals into the nursery and transplanting more than 200 back onto the house reef. She also led the way on the island’s Manta Identification Project at Kokomo, making a conscious effort to help preserve and protect manta rays which are ranked as vulnerable under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List.