For over a decade, the D’Arros Research Centre (DRC) has conducted research that focuses on marine and tropical conservation in the Amirante Island group of the Seychelles. Together with the biological diversity and abundance of its sister atoll, St. Joseph, D’Arros Island provides an outstanding ocean observatory for scientific research and discovery. Since its establishment in 2004, DRC core research focuses on long-term data collection and monitoring programs, such as a coral reef and turtle monitoring, as well as targeted research projects.
In August 2012, new ownership of D’Arros Island put the DRC under the umbrella of the Save Our Seas Foundation. The infrastructure of the Save Our Seas Foundation-D’Arros Research Centre (SOSF-DRC) wet and dry laboratory along with the digital microscopes, -20°C freezer, drying oven, dive equipment and, of course, running water, internet and electricity, makes it the ideal base for analytical and logistical support to research on D’Arros Island, St Joseph Atoll and the waters surrounding them.
The establishment of a basic field station on St Joseph Island has allowed SOSF-DRC to define and maximize opportunities for research in the St. Joseph Atoll, strengthening the link between the island and atoll systems.
Since its establishment in 2004, DRC core research has focused on long-term data collection and monitoring programs, such as a coral reef and turtle monitoring, as well as targeted research projects.
After becoming the Save Our Seas Foundation -D’Arros Research Centre in 2012, the SOSF-DRC was able to significantly further its research goals and reach. In addition to the ongoing core research programs, in 2016, SOSF-DRC supported eight targeted research projects, which include studies of 12 species, including vulnerable manta rays Manta alfredi, critically endangered hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata and endangered green turtles Chelonia mydas. Together with Danah Divers, SOSF-DRC maintains the largest acoustic receiver network in the Western Indian Ocean consisting of 88 receivers that track marine life over the entire Amirantes Bank.
The comprehensive research projects based out of SOSF-DRC focus on the larger conservation issues surrounding both ecosystems and species and with future generations of the Seychellois people in mind.
As the smallest African nation, the Republic of the Seychelles is made up of 115 islands covering 459 kilometres squared of total landmass. Scattered approximately 1,600km off the coast of Kenya, these islands are administratively separated into two groups. The Inner Islands, sometimes referred to as the Granitic Island Group, includes some 43 islands. These islands all fall within 90 kilometres of Mahé and are home to 90% of the population. The Outer Islands are all low-lying coralline or raised coral islands and are sparsely inhabited. They spread to the southwest of the Granitics and include the Aldabra Island Group, Farquar Island Group and the Amirantes Island Group.
D’Arros Island and St Joseph Atoll lie roughly 225km southwest of Mahé at 5°S of the equator as part of the Amirantes Island group of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles.
The sandy beaches of D’Arros wrap 5km around it and its highest elevation is 3m. D’Arros Island is separated from St Joseph Atoll by a deep channel to the east, roughly 1km wide and some 60m deep. St Joseph Atoll consists of several named vegetated islands, the largest of which is its namesake, St Joseph Island. The inner lagoon of St Joseph is entirely enclosed at low tide and is roughly 7m at its deepest