Noo Raajje Releases 2020 Maldives Coral Reef Assessment Report
Scuba Diving in The Maldives
01 November, 2021
The Noo Raajje Program has released the assessment report from the 2020 Expedition, which surveyed the coral reefs and fish populations across almost all the Maldivian islands.
The most encouraging finding showed that coral reefs may be recovering after the 2016 bleaching event, caused by a prolonged spike in ocean temperatures during the summer season.
The Noo Raajje scientists write that the apparent recovery in the amount of coral may be due in part to the high levels of recruitment recorded at the sites surveyed (an average of over 14 individual new corals, or ‘recruits’, per square meter), and was likely helped by high numbers of herbivore fish found.
The assessment is based on two expeditions of the northern and central atolls, carried out in January and February 2020 by scientists from the Waitt Institute, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of Western Australia, Maldives Marine Research Institute, and their partners from Small Island Research Group. The survey efforts were further supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, Oceano Azul Foundation, IUCN Maldives, Maldives Coral Institute, Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l’Environnement, Vava’u Environmental Protection Association, University of California Santa Barbara, NEKTON, and University of Hawai’i. The scientists surveyed 127 reef sites across 15 atolls.
Sites were classified as inhabited, resort, or uninhabited, and were surveyed across multiple indicators that can help scientists understand the overall health of a reef and its many important species. The indicators surveyed were;
- reef fish, reef shark, and large-bodied fish abundance, diversity, and biomass;
- species composition of bottom (benthic) communities;
- the abundance of juvenile corals;
- reef rugosity (shape and area of the reef that provides habitat and resilience);
- the abundance and diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates (clams, sea cucumbers, and others);
- and water quality.
The results of the assessment suggest that overall, Maldivian reefs have the capacity to recover following warming events, but local stressors may impact reef health at the local scale.
Although the results of the study are a cause for optimism, the scientists point out that prior to the 2016 bleaching, Maldives coral coverage was some 40%, suggesting that the recovery of the country’s coral reefs has a long way to go.
The fish survey data showed a high density of small-bodied plankton eating fish, , a moderate density of large herbivorous reef fish, like parrotfish, but only low densities of top predators and sharks. Large top predators like sharks and rays can indicate very high reef health, as well as bring in value to communities through tourism.
In March of 2021, the Noo Raajje Program completed a survey of the southern Maldives to finish the archipelago-wide assessment. A separate report will be complied based on that expedition’s results.
Noo Raajje is a program led by the Government of the Maldives, including the President's Office and the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, and in partnership with government agencies including the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, the Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Economic Development,the Ministry of Tourism, the Environment Protection Agency, Local Government Authority, the Maldives Marine Research Institute, and others.
International support comes from the Blue Prosperity Coalition, including the Waitt Institute, the Waitt Foundation, National Geographic Pristine Seas, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, SeaSketch, Environmental Markets Solutions Lab at UC Santa Barbara, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, and others.
To read the assessment in full, click here: www.nooraajje.org/coral-reef-assessment
Recent Posts 03.10.2022
- The Travel Calendar for October 2022 in the Maldives
- The Ozen Collection brings Bodegas Viñátigo Winery to the Maldives
- One&Only Reethi Rah recognized with First Maldives National Tourism Awards
- Why You should spend this Festive Season with Cora Cora Maldives
- The Westin Maldives' Heavenly Spa wins Haute Grandeur Awards
- 5* dreamy Maldives Half Board stay near Male with return speedboat transfers
- Latest News from Kandima, October 2022
- Now Open: Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa
- Maldives Best Dive sites: Fushivaru
- Huvafen Fushi announces Key Leadership Appointments
- Fall in Love with the Maldives in Mid-Season at Amari Havodda
- Coco Collection celebrates the Maldives Tourism Golden Year
- Latest News from Kuramathi Maldives resort, September 2022
- Malahini Kuda Bandos Upper Class Upgrade Review
- This Year Traditional meets Tropical for Innahura’ Festive Season
- Romantic wedding proposal ideas at Komandoo
- Huvafen Fushi hosts manifestation retreat with Roxie Nafousi
- Plan for a Good Time in Maldives at Sky Beach Maldives - Dhiffushi
- Paul Gauguin Cruises announces 2024 Voyages
- Maldives celebrates World Manta Day
- Music and Michelin Stars to collide at Siyam World Maldives’ First Birthday bash
- Finding Unique Travel Experiences with Anantara
- Experience the Magic of the Holidays with Raffles Maldives resort
- Dreamy 5* star all-inclusive Maldives getaway: Discover AARAH, Now
- Creative Activities in The Maldives: The ART of Bohemia experience at The Nautilus
- Where to Spot an Indian Celebs in The Maldives
The Ultimate Guide to Diving in Maldives
Scuba diving in the Maldives means diving at one of the worlds best scuba diving destinations, because of the white sand beaches, coral reefs, clear warm waters, dive sites and a thriving and vibrant marine life. Explore excellent dive sites and a collection of underwater gardens. They're abundant with extensive coral reefs and magnificent fish life. It's common to see sharks, turtles, manta rays, whale sharks and a kaleidoscopic range of tropical sea creatures. Read more
Beach or Water Villa?
Maldives - a name that became synonymous with honeymooners' paradise in the tourism world, has slowly revamped to cater to the needs of families visitingRead More
Best Maldives Resort Offers & Packages
Find out more about the most unparalleled Maldives hotel deals and special rates, when Book Direct your next beach holidayRead More
Maldives Hotel Reviews
Some of the best hotels and resorts in the Maldives are already included in this list, and the good part of them offers the best prices. We will constantly add new hotelsRead More
10 Exclusive Resorts in Maldives
The Maldives is paradise destination that should be on the bucket list of every discerning travelers. There's a special breed of hotels there that cater to the most tasteful of luxury travelers Read More
The Maldives’ Hottest Luxury Hotel Openings for 2022
hese are the hotel openings in the Maldives is most excited for in 2022 for planning your next luxurious getaway Read More
Maldives Luxury Guide
Here's the best of Maldives for luxury travellers. We've compiled the finest recommendations of places to stay, ranging from the most celebrated five-star resorts to luxurious private islands Read More
Maldives Romantic Guide
The ultimate ‘flop and drop' and honeymoon destination, the Maldives is the playground for the most amazing and finest utilization of each second of this extremely valuable and hopeful time with each other in tota Read More
Maldives Budget Guide
Budget travellers choose Maldives as their destination of choice thanks to the variety of affordable stays Read More
Maldives Family Guide
Maldives - a name that became synonymous with honeymooners' paradise in the tourism world, has slowly Read More