Protected Dive Sites

15 important marine dive sites were established as marine protected areas in 1996, registered in the Ministry of Planning Human Resources and Environment and managed by the Ministry of Tourism. In 1999 additional 10 dive sites were declared as protected areas established in the Ministry of Home Affairs Housing and Environment. Anchoring, and fishing except for traditional bait-fishing and destructive activities are strictly prohibited in these sites.

Other Protected Areas

Apart from the designated marine protected areas, the following islands are conserved and protected from exploitation.

• Hurasdhoo in North Ari Atoll
• Hithaadhoo in Gaaf Alif Atoll
• Rasfari in Kaafu Atoll

Protected Birds

White tern (Gygyis alba monte), bird commonly as a protected species in June 1996 by the Ministry
Since 15 July 1999, 22 bird species are protected 1996). Catching, maltreating, trading and keeping nesting grounds of these birds were banned effective C/99/24 (11 July 1999)

Protected Marine Species

Marine species banned from export (as of December 1996) in the Maldives include:

• Black corals
• Eels
• Trochus shells
• Bigeye scad under 6"
• Triton shells
• Skates and rays
• Pearl Oysters
• Dolphins
• Lobsters and lobster meat
• Whales
• All types of corals (except organ pipe coral)
• Parrot fish
• Turtles
• All types of bait fish
• Puffer fish

Marine species prohibited from killing, catching and collection or extraction in the Maldivian waters include:

• Dolphins {since 15 May 1993, Notice No: FA-A1/29/93/14 (15-05-1993)}
• Berried female lobsters and those less than 25cm in total length {since 15 May 1993, Notice
No: FA-A1/29/93/14 (15-05-1993)}
• Whales {since 15 May 1993, Notice No: FA-A1/29/93/14 (15-05-1993)}
• Giant clams {since 15 May 1993, Notice No: FA-A1/29/93/14 (15-05-1993)}
• Triton shells {since 15 May 1993, Notice No: FA-A1/29/93/14 (15-05-1993)}
• Black coral {since 01 January 1995, Notice No: FA-A1/29/95/01 (01-01-1995)}
• Napoleon Wrasse {since 24 June 1995, Notice No: FA-A1/29/95/39 (24-06-1995)}
• Whale shark {since 24 June 1995, Notice No: FA-A1/29/95/39 (24-06-1995)}
• Turtles {for 10 years since 24 June 1995 , Notice No: FA-A1/29/95/39 (24-06-1995)}
• Sharks {Under Fisheries Law 5/87, in September 1998 MoFA banned fishing of sharks for a period of 10 years within a 12 mile distance from the following atolls;
1- Baa Atoll
2- Lhaviyani Atoll
3- Malé Atoll
4- North Ari Atoll
5- South Ari Atoll
6- Vaavu Atoll
7- Seenu Atoll

The following destructive fishing methods are also banned:

• Use of dynamite or explosives;
• Use of guns or any other such devises to catch fish;
• Use of chemicals to collect or catch fish;
• Use of scuba gear to collect sea cucumber and lobsters.

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