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MALDIVES 

JANUARY 2020

WAITT

EXPEDITION

In January 2020, the Noo Raajje team set off on an unprecedented expedition to study coral reef health, fish and benthic populations, and water quality across the atolls of the Maldives. Led by the Maldives Marine Research Institute, the Waitt Institute, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, this expedition worked to better understand the health of the ocean environment in the Maldives. This data will inform a Marine Spatial Plan in the Maldives and help to make a longterm plan to protect the underwater life and resources that all Maldivians rely on.

Building upon the extensive research from the Maldives Marine Research Institute, this expedition surveyed 16 atolls over 26 days. Two more expeditions are planned for Spring 2021 to gather additional information at the Southern Atolls.

EXPEDITION

REPORT

The full expedition report and video will be released in early 2021.

EXPEDITION

PARTNERS

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KEY

FINDINGS

10-15%

of reefs surveyed are under stress from human activities

marine sanctuaries established

5

XX

community consultations completed

EXPEDITION

GOALS

CATEGORIZE CORAL REEF HEALTH

DETERMINE HUMAN IMPACT ON THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT

INVESTIGATE HEALTH OF TOP PREDATORS

CREATE DATASET ON FISH COUNTS

KEY

STATISTICS

atolls surveyed

16

science dives

978

80

species found from the IUCN Redlist

274,004

individual fish counted

WHAT

WE DID

3D CORAL REEF MOSAICS

The 100 Island Challenge and Scripps Institution of Oceanography team used 3D imaging technology to create coral reef mosaics. By swimming across the reef and taking 1,000s of photos, the team then uses software to stitch the photos together to create a comprehensive image of the reef, which is then analyzed for coral type. These transect dives can be repeated easily in following years, giving researches a comprehensive look at a reef’s health over time.

“From fisheries to tourism to our way of life, the ocean is a key part of each Maldivian. We are excited that this expedition will build upon existing research being done by the government to explore the sustainable use of the ocean.”  

Shafiya Naeem

Head of Maldives Marine Research Institute

EXPEDITION

HIGHLIGHTS

PRESIDENTS' VISIT

President Ibrahim Solih, the Speaker of Parliament and former President, Mohamed Nasheed, and the Minister of Fisheries Marine Resources and Agriculture, Zaha Waheed, joined the team along Neykurendhoo Island in Haa Dhaalu Atoll.

 

They joined scientists underwater at the reefs of Keylakunu to witness how the 3-D imagery is captured of coral reefs, and to enjoy the marine habitat of Keylakunu, an island, and reef that was protected by President Solih in 2018 under the 1 Island, 1 Reef, 1 Mangrove Initiative.

EXPEDITION

SPOTLIGHTS

Nizam Ibrahim

Senior Research Officer

Maldives Marine Research Institute

Nizam took photo-quadrats of the reef bottom to understand life in the surveyed reefs and assisted in photo mosaic set up to capture 3-D images of the reef using more than 5,000 images. 

Hana Amir

Aya collected data about the compositions of corals and other algae on the seafloor.

Aya Naseem

Aya collected data about the compositions of corals and other algae on the seafloor.

LINKS &

RESOURCES

SCIENTIFIC & TECHNICAL REPORTS

Coming soon.

CONTACT

INITIATIVES

AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS

STAY CONNECTED

PO Box 1948

La Jolla, CA 92037

 (858) 551-4443

General Inquiries

info@waittinstitute.org

Media Inquiries

sbrody@waittinstitute.org

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