The Edition
facebook icon twitter icon instagram icon linkedin icon


News / EPA

Reclamation of a resort ongoing despite EPA orders to halt dredging due to coral bleaching

EPA has revealed that a project to reclaim land for a large resort is presently ongoing in northern Male' atoll despite their notice to suspend all developmental projects that require heavy machinery due to the excessive coral bleaching across the country.

Aishath Shuba Solih
21 May 2024, MVT 14:33
Dredging activity ongoing despite notice to suspend all such activity due to excessive coral bleaching. -- Photo: EPA
Aishath Shuba Solih
21 May 2024, MVT 14:33

Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that they have been notified of ongoing dredging activities to reclaim a large resort despite orders to temporarily ban all reclamation and dredging projects in the country due to excessive coral bleaching.

Director General of the Agency, Ibrahim Naeem shared with Mihaaru News that many companies have suspended their work following the notice to halt all major coastal activities from May 9 until June 10 due to the agency receiving reports of mass coral bleaching events across the country's reefs.

He said that regardless of this, some companies are continuing these activities in violation of the notice. Mihaaru News reported that an independent company is proceeding land reclamation and dredging activities in the northern region of Male' atoll. However, the resort in question remains unspecified.

Three necessary steps have been detailed to tackle the rising issue of coral bleaching in the country. They are:

1. Suspension of land reclamation and dredging activities within developmental projects that impact coral reef ecosystems

2. Suspension of all coastal development activities that require heavy machinery including land reclamation, lagoon excavation, beach nourishment, sand pumping, affixing cables and pipes over lagoon beds and bund wall installations

3. Revision of work schedules after June 10 to resume the work of current coastal developmental projects

Maldives had encountered its first mass coral bleaching event in 1998 and observed such incidents from time to time since then. The largest coral bleaching event that occurred afterwards was in 2016.

Reports released after thorough inspection of the event revealed that 73 percent of the corals in the country's reef were bleached during the 2016 incident.

Due to the recently surfaced coral bleaching issue also escalating, Maldives Marine Research Institute (MRS) had requested prompt action to combat the issue.

This Centre operated under the Ministry of Fisheries and Ocean Resources had stated that activities such as dredging, beach nourishing and land reclamation exerts force on the country's reefs, thereby requesting temporary suspension of such activities.

EPA is presently conducting surveys across protected coastal regions housing marine life due to this issue. Although over 100 areas with distinct characteristics and rich nature are presently protected, surveys are set to be conducted on a few of them.

Share this story

Related Stories