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How can we protect the Maldives?

Lincolnshire...
Destination Expert
for Maldives
Level Contributor
9,772 posts
322 reviews
How can we protect the Maldives?

Here is a very succinct answer to this important question from Protect the Maldives, who gave me permission to share it here:

"The reefs are dying. How can tourists help?

Coral reefs on the Maldives have had massive damages due to the 2016 bleaching event. In the snorkelling area from 0 to 5 m you will see mostly dead corals. Visible degradation will take 2-3 years (from death of coral to mechanical breakdown of its skeletonal structure). The reefs right now are like a patient, a convalescent, and there is no intensive-care-unit. The stress must be minimized if we want to help. The reefs can only recover under ideal surroundings. Every polyp counts. We have to hope that surviving corals spawn, that larvae find a spot on a reef and start growing there. From Zero. It will take 5, 10 or 15 years until we see beautiful reefs again, but we want YOU to help right now. Here are some recommendations:

- Reduce mechanical stress —> don’t step on the now dead reef structures. There might be young and hardly visible re-growth. Be careful when snorkeling, diving or kayaking.

- Reduce chemical stress —> inform yourself about reef-friendly sunscreens, they exist (tropicalsnorkeling.com/best-snorkeling-sunsc…). We recommend physical protection (shirts, trousers) over chemical protection.

- Try to save water —> every towel being washed, every shower with chemicals counts if you want to reduce the chemical stress because your waste water is being led into the reef.

- Avoid sedimentation —> while snorkelling or diving try not to stir up sediments, which could cover corals and hinder their growth.

- Take back your rubbish. Every piece that leaves Maldives again will not harm the local environment.

- Don’t feed the fish. The ecological balance is now disturbed heavily by the decline of corals and the increase of algae. Amount of fish that feed on algae will increase heavily while those feeding on corals will diminish. Feeding fish is an additional intrusion in this balance.

- Inform yourself about the resort before booking. Prefer resorts that show efforts to help the reefs or that show signs of sustainability efforts in general. Resorts should now be double aware that it is their duty to show some ecological action — support them by choosing them.

- Educate yourself and others. Learn about reef ecology. Talk to the local staff or resident marine biologists. Maybe even engage in local actions, e.g. reef cleanups, artificial reef structure building …

- Support organisations who care.

It is not much we can do, but every single action counts."

jb

Protect The Maldives

12 replies to this topic
Lincolnshire...
Destination Expert
for Maldives
Level Contributor
9,772 posts
322 reviews
1. Re: How can we protect the Maldives?

I will link this thread to the Top questions and add some other "classic" threads, such as "Don't feed the fishes" and "Kill Turtles (plastic bags)" and "Don't touch the coral".

The Protect the Maldives information site link is below.

Lyn

protectthemaldives.de/PTM_English/Welcome.ht…

Chester, United...
Level Contributor
4 posts
5 reviews
2. Re: How can we protect the Maldives?

Thank you for sharing this valuable information, we all need to do whatever we can to help the reefs recover.

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2,529 posts
17 reviews
3. Re: How can we protect the Maldives?

Most of the above needs to be strenuously enforced by island management,in all languages, bearing in mind the environmental damage done by our long haul flights, many visitors may not feel greatly motivated, some cultures more than others?

Surrey, United...
Level Contributor
782 posts
12 reviews
4. Re: How can we protect the Maldives?

thank you Lynphd, this is great to have visible on the forum.

Wouldn't it be good if every resort handed an info sheet with this on to every arriving guest? (in various languages)

Belfast, United...
Level Contributor
1,102 posts
66 reviews
5. Re: How can we protect the Maldives?

More resorts seem to be doing stuff such as glass bottles for water, giving out plastic bags to take recyclable plastic home ( Komandoo) but many do nothing, feed fish , wash towels every day despite us hanging back up ( which means don't wash). Then there is the widespread burning of rubbish in the Maldives, dumping in the water and thilafushi !!!! and the general lack of recycling on local islands. Not a great deal of self help going on

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
1,576 posts
293 reviews
6. Re: How can we protect the Maldives?

We were dismayed at the amount of floating garbage going past the WV at Komandoo and the amount of garbage on the reef.

I simply collected what I could whether it be off the back of the WV or we'd take our mesh bag on each dive/snorkel and collect any obvious fresh debris from the reef. We filled our bag on most snorkels. Not so much on the dives but we picked up plenty on the surface.

Belfast, United...
Level Contributor
1,102 posts
66 reviews
7. Re: How can we protect the Maldives?

That's interesting PH as we never saw any rubbish at sea or on either side of the beach at kom

Lincolnshire...
Destination Expert
for Maldives
Level Contributor
9,772 posts
322 reviews
8. Re: How can we protect the Maldives?

Coral Reef CPR: news of the International Year of the Reef 2018...

…wsimg.com/b5dcad9a1941a889e68ac9d4e2b0be35…

Lincolnshire...
Destination Expert
for Maldives
Level Contributor
9,772 posts
322 reviews
9. Re: How can we protect the Maldives?

Don’t feed the fish....

A new infographic:

greenfins.net/a/…

London
Level Contributor
2,177 posts
77 reviews
10. Re: How can we protect the Maldives?

I would add "Embrace the Chinese".

The Chinese culture is one that does not place a high value on environmental protection. And modern day urban Chinese society is one where interaction with nature is limited. The popularity of the Maldives with the Chinese is a great opportunity to educate the Chinese and instill a love and respect for the ocean's creatures. Every Chinese guest who is touched by a magical encounter with a sea creature will be another voice going back to their country to advocate for a more environmentally friendly attitude and policy. The Chinese who can afford to visit the Maldives are the upper managers and bureaucrats who have a more influential voice in the Chinese hierarchy.

If you see Chinese at your resort, help them, guide them, show them creatures you have found. Introduce them to these wonderful aquatic critters so they develop more appreciation and fascination with them. Be an environmental ambassador.

With a billion people and growing economic power, if we don't get the Chinese on board with a more environmentally friendly outlook, then all other measures will be literally drops in the ocean.

Bruce, Maldives Complete

www.maldivecomplete.com

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