Noo Raajje Publishes Findings Of The World’s Largest Ocean Use Survey

Noo Raajje has published its final report of the world’s largest Ocean Use Survey ever conducted. The nationwide survey delved deep into how 25,000 Maldivians use and value the oceans, providing significant data for policymakers to drive ocean conservation efforts. To collect data for the survey, the Noo Raajje team visited all 189 inhabited islands of the Maldives, acquiring over 4,900 responses.

The survey findings were disclosed for the first time at the Maldives National University (MNU) and a special community event was held at Rasdhoo to celebrate and engage ocean users. The final report revealed that the overall community response towards the survey was positive, and it found that people are keen on participating in planning for the future of the ocean. This is evident from the survey responses themselves which surpassed the population-based targets and reached more than double the fisher target.

At MNU, the Noo Raajje team hosted an interactive and immersive presentation in which 50 students, faculty members, government officials and representatives of conservation communities took part. With the aid of a presentation, the Noo Raajje team shared with the attendees the key findings of the survey and engaged in fruitful discussions with participants.

To commemorate the successful completion of the Ocean Use Survey, a community event was held at Rasdhoo island too. The island has strong roots in both fishing and tourism industries and is home to a Marine Protected Area, which depicts it as a perfect example of how various ocean users can work together for the economy, environment and community. Named the ‘Kanduveringe Festival’ the event saw different activities including a fishing competition, ocean races and interesting educational activities.

The Ocean Use Survey is the first step in ensuring all ocean use sectors particularly fishers are consulted and represented in the currently ongoing Marine Spatial Planning process. With the aim of driving forward science-based, community-driven, and collaborative efforts, the survey was designed and implemented by closely working together with key government agencies including the President’s Office.

“Every decision we make about the ocean affects Maldivians, and it is very important that we know how exactly people use the ocean space, and how they value it. It was very encouraging to see the high level of participation in the Ocean Use Survey, across all sectors, including fishers, the tourism industry, the shipping industry, cultural users, recreational users and more. I hope this high level of engagement remains in future planning processes as well,” said Minister of Fisheries Dr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan.