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Around a hector of the Rasfaree Reef damages by bulk carrier: EPA

Lamya Abdulla
26 September 2021, MVT 14:53
(FILE) Aerial shot of the bulk carrier Navio Amaryllis that had run aground in Rasfaree Reef in August: EPA said it would take over ten years to recover the damages the reef suffered in this incident --Photo: Mohamed Shaahid
Lamya Abdulla
26 September 2021, MVT 14:53

Bulk carrier Navio Amaryllis that ran aground onto Rasfaree Reef in August had damaged around a hector (10,000 square meters) of the reef.

The 189.99 meters long bulk carrier ran aground on August 19 onto the protected Rasfaree Reef. Navio Amaryllis, registered to Panama, was en route to South Africa from India when this incident occurred.

Director General of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Ibrahim Naeem told Mihaaru on Sunday that they have assessed the damages and have calculated a fine to impose. He did not disclose the amount though.

The joint survey conducted by Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and EPA to ascertain the damages was concluded last week. Naeem had previously stated it took them a month to finish the survey due to high surge waves, which had lead to difficult diving conditions.

Nameem said this incident damaged a hector of the protected area, including various types of corals such as sizeable brain corals and branch corals. He said it would take around ten years for the reef to recover from the damages it suffered.

The damages will be calculated as per the regulation under the Environment Protection Act that determines cost of damages in incidents like this.

The most any party can be fined for damaging vulnerable area is MVR 100 million (USD 6,474,187). Additionally EPA could sue for financial compensation for the damages as well. Any fine will have to be paid within a 30 day period.

Navio Amaryllis is still in Maldives. It can only be taken back after damages has been paid.

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