SocMon Resource: Monitoring Site Reports

Socioeconomic Monitoring for Coastal Managers of South Asia: Field Trials and Baseline Surveys Nassimo Thila and Banana Reef, North Male’ Atoll, Maldives

South AsiaBy Marie Saleem  |  2012

thumbnail of Socmon Maldives Terminal report May 30 2012

The Republic of Maldives is an archipelago of 26 natural atolls consisting of about 1,190 small, low-lying, coral islands distributed along an 860 km long chain from north to south in the Indian Ocean. It is situated about 700 km southwest of Sri Lanka and 500 km south of India’s Lakshadweep Islands (Figure 1). It is the largest reef system in the Indian Ocean and has a total reef area of over 21,000 km2. The land area of the Maldives accounts for only about 1% of the total area of the Maldives and thus creates a huge dependency on the marine environment. The land and sea area of the Maldives is about 115,400 km2 with an exclusive economic zone of 859,000 km2. Naseer and Hatcher (2004) classified the archipelago into 16 atolls, 5 oceanic faros and 4 oceanic platform reefs comprising of 21,372.72 +/- 1,068.64 km2, which is 20% of the Maldivian Territorial Sea.