MABR - Press Release November 2015


After over 17 years working in Mergui Archipelago, Luca Schueli founder of EcoSwiss and Mergui Archipelago Biodiversity Research (MABR), is passing over the helm and transitioning MABR to Project Manaia.

“After more than 17 years in the “Moken” Archipelago and taking dozens of scientist on board SeaNOMAD, I am happy to pass on future operations to Manuel and William, who I am sure will be able to continue and expand awareness and research of this wonderful part of the world.”

- Luca Schueli, Founder of EcoSwiss & MABR

With 800+ island there is still much work to be done. Luca Schueli has graciously donated his 14m research catamaran SeaNOMAD to Project Manaia, who has taken over operations of MABR. Project Manaia (, founded by Manuel Marinelli, is aimed towards creating an accessible research platform at sea - open for everyone. In the donation agreement and transition of the MABR, Project Manaia will continue MABR operations for years to come, providing key baseline studies, and a vital research platform throughout the Mergui Archipelago. 

“I am happy to have this great opportunity to start doing some amazing work in a basically untouched environment. With SeaNOMAD’s donation, we still have many struggles and work ahead of us but this is a great way to start an open-access research base in a unique environment. We are excited to work in this particular part of the world - one of Mission Blue's "Hope Spots” 

- Manuel Marinelli, Founder of Project Manaia & Skipper of SeaNOMAD

SeaNOMAD will continue to be the platform for research and expedition cruises. Project Manaia’s website will transition to be the primary contact for the MABR project and the EcoSwiss webpage eventually will be absorbed. Both websites and emails will operate till March 2016, when Project Manaia will complete the final transition. 


Though significant changes and adjustments are being made, MABR will continue to operate scientific charters, cruises and provide scientists a vital research platform. Luca Schueli will continue to be involved in MABR, providing key knowledge, support and advice. Luca Schueli will also be included as a member of the Project Manaia team. It will be a new exciting time for MABR and the preservation of the Mergui Archipelago. 

Sailing in Mergui Archipelago


We explore one of the last unknown uncharted island chain left in the world. With over 800 islands in the Mergui Archipelago with a majority uninhabited, this unique region needs to be better understood, mapped, and studied. More info on our 4M approach!

Moken Culture

We preserve this unique region by providing biodiversity research, baseline surveys, and awareness in hopes to one day preserve this whole region either as a UNESCO Site or a Trans-border Marine Protected Area. More info on our 4M approach!

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