For over fifteen years, the Save Our Seas Foundation – D’Arros Research Centre (SOSF-DRC) has conducted research that focuses on marine and tropical conservation in the Amirantes 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 addition to the ongoing core research programs, up until 2020, the SOSF-DRC has supported more than twenty targeted research projects. These have included the studies of 12 species, such as vulnerable manta rays (Manta alfredi), critically endangered hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) and endangered green turtles (Chelonia mydas).
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, 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 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 about 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.