Male’, Maldives, 14th March 2023 – Noo Raajje is set to host an interactive session to share the major outcomes from the largest Ocean Use Survey ever conducted in the Maldives. The session will be held at 2:00 PM, March 15 at Maldives National University’s (MNU) Malé campus.

Participants will have the opportunity to hear new insights on how Maldivians use and value the ocean, communicate with Noo Raajje team members, and ask questions about the survey. The event is open to the public.

Photo credits | Noo Raajje

The Maldives Ocean Use Survey gathered over 4,900 responses, representing more than 25,000 Maldivians. Survey respondents drew over 29,000 shapes using SeaSketch, a digital mapping platform, to identify various ocean uses and associated values.

The survey is part of Noo Raajje’s science-based, community driven Marine Spatial Planning process, that uses the most convenient information about the natural environment and human activities (such as fishing, tourism, shipping, aquaculture, and infrastructure) to plan for future use and conservation of ocean space. Data collected from the Ocean Use Survey will help policymakers understand how people use and value the ocean across the Maldives and allow them to make informed decisions when considering future Marine Protected Areas to reach the Government’s target of protecting at least 20 percent of the Maldivian ocean and its resources.

The Noo Raajje team visited all 189 inhabited islands to collect data, ensuring the participation of all ocean use sectors. Respondents were also able to complete the surveys online. Survey results are ilustrated by heatmaps that offer a comprehensive baseline understanding of how local communities, fishers, and the tourism sector use our ocean resources.

photo credits / Noo Raajje
Photo credits / Noo Raajje

“As an island state, all Maldivians are ocean users. Therefore, it is very important that we engage as many Maldivians 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,” said Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture Dr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan.

“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.”

This survey will surely fill the gaps about how people uses and values the deep sea, shallow coasts, and reef ecosystems in the Maldivian ocean.

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