Six Senses Laamu Goes Shrimp-Free!

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Six Senses Laamu introduces shrimp-free menus to support sustainable seafood initiative.

Sustainable shrimp is a very elusive catch. That was a significant element of a message from Callum Roberts, professor of Marine Conservation at the University of York, on his recent visit to Six Senses Laamu, where he discussed sustainable fisheries management in Laamu Atoll. Following the Professor’s visit, Six Senses Laamu announced that it will no longer serve shrimp or prawns in either its guest restaurants or staff canteen, as of September 2018.

“They look innocuous and taste great, but shrimp and prawns are sadly some of the most environmentally-damaging seafood you can eat,” says Professor Roberts. “Bottom trawling with fine mesh nets for wild prawns causes habitat destruction and enormous losses of non-target species, many of which are threatened. In a worst case, prawn farms can destroy valuable wetlands and the animals are usually fed on wild fish caught using some of the most destructive fishing methods on the planet.”

Professor Roberts says, “Until there are truly sustainable alternatives available, there is no question that we should consider avoiding eating shrimp and prawns. Whether wild or farmed, they are produced at immense cost to the environment and other wildlife.”

The introduction of shrimp-free menus at Six Senses Laamu will amount to an annual reduction of around 13,227 pounds (6,000 kilogrammes) in shrimp and prawn purchases. This represents a small dent in the global demand, but a powerful statement in sustainability.

Stefan Goechke, the executive chef, says he welcomes the challenge of adapting the resort’s menus so that guests won’t even notice the absence of prawns. “My team is working on some exciting new dishes to delight our guests. We also have a variety of sustainable seafood options featured on the menu, such as fish caught by local fishermen right here in Laamu Atoll, that don’t carry the same environmental price tag.”

Marteyne van Well, general manager of Six Senses Laamu, says the resort very much welcomes advice such as this on marine conservation, while appreciating that these seafood items might be missed by some guests. “We are constantly learning from visiting guests, practitioners and experts from the culinary world to wellness and marine science. The resort grows and evolves by absorbing the invaluable knowledge from our guests, which inspires us to keep improving. Our partnerships with international NGOs and their expertise are crucial to achieving our goals in sustainability and we hope to, in turn, be able to contribute and share knowledge to inspire others. Along the lines of James Keller’s quote, ‘a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle,’ we hope that sharing learnings for a sustainable future will outweigh the removal of shrimp and prawns on our menus.”

Six Senses Laamu is a place of dreams, combining thoughtful luxury, rustic simplicity, outstanding culinary options and plenty of activities. Six Senses Laamu is the only resort located in the Laamu atoll, which lies in the southern part of the Maldives. The island truly feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere; getting to Olhuveli involves an hour’s flight south from Male followed by a 15-minute speedboat ride to the resort. 

Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the resort prides itself on its commitment to sustainable operations and development as outlined by Agenda 21 and Green Globe Benchmarking.

At Six Senses Laamu, most of the villas and facilities are built overwater. However, beach villas and on-land dining is an option. All villas offer a sense of privacy and seclusion, with an amazing view to the Ocean and Maldivian nature.

Six Senses Laamu offers a wide range of dining options, with cuisines from around the world, a swimming pool with a sunken bar, an ice cream parlour, an overwater wine cellar and a signature Chill bar. Many activities, excursions and options are available for everyone to enjoy, both overwater and underwater, in addition to the Six Senses Spa.