Noo Raajje, a program committed to safeguarding ocean resources in the Maldives has extended an invitation to fellow conservationists among the public to learn more about the largest Ocean Use Survey conducted in the Maldives. The interactive session held at Maldives National University (MNU) Male’ Campus will look into the key findings of the survey and will share with the public in-depth insight into the oceans. The session will be held at 2:00 pm on 15th March 2023.
During the session, participants will be informed of how Maldivians use and value the ocean, interact with Noo Raajje team members and ask interesting questions about the survey. To register for the session, head to: www.nooraajje.org/oceanusesurvey.The Maldives Ocean Use Survey saw over 4,900 responses. Survey respondents drew more than 29,000 shapes using SeaSketch – a digital mapping platform to determine different ocean uses and associated values.
The survey forms part of Noo Raajje’s science-based, community-driven Marine Spatial Planning process which utilizes data available about the natural environment and anthropological activities to better plan future use and conservation efforts of ocean space. Data collected in the survey will aid policymakers to increase their understanding of how people use and value oceans across the Maldives, allowing them to make informed decisions about future Marine Protected Areas. The Maldivian Government has set a target of protecting at least 20% of the Maldivian ocean space and its resources.
As part of the survey, the Noo Raajje team visited all 189 inhabited islands in the Maldives to collect data and ensured the participation of all ocean-use sectors. Respondents also conducted surveys online after which the data acquired was represented in the form of heatmaps. This offered a more comprehensive baseline understanding of how local communities, fishermen and the tourism sector utilized the ocean resources.
Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, Dr. Hassan Rasheed Hussain remarked “As an island state, all Maldivians are ocean users. Therefore, it is very important that we engage as many Maldivians as possible in any marine resource management work we do. It was very encouraging to see the high level of participation in this survey by stakeholders across different sectors, especially the fishing community. I hope this level of engagement continues during future planning processes.”
We are excited to share the findings from our survey with the larger community for the first time,” said Fathimath Nistharan, Noo Raajje Site Manager. “Gathering this data is an important step in developing a plan for the future of our ocean. We are so grateful to all of the ocean users who have given their time and participation to making the Ocean Use Survey a successful effort.”