Friday, December 21, 2007

Fish it a serious issue?

It has been few weeks not since dead fish has been seeing floating around Male’ and the nearby islands. Some resorts said their staff had to clean the beaches hourly and took dead fish by the bag full.

So far no definite answer has been given by the government officials on the cause of this. Few speculations are in the air. Some says its hypoxia while others say it’s due to some kind of poisonous plankton or algae. Also there are some far fetched theories stating that this incident is due to some kind of pollutants caused by India or Pakistan.

This incident actually is said to have started several months back. Fisherman and Scuba divers in Meemu atoll reported that the fish were mysteriously dying in great numbers. Eventually it spread North to Felidhu, Ari and Male’ Atoll.

It’s not only the triggerfish, Odonus niger and the Unicornfish that has been dying. Lots of other species including the “reef fishes” and Wahoo (kurumas) has been seen floating around, dead. Benthic fishes such as stone fishes were also seen.

This phenomenon is still continuing. And we need to find out what’s going on here and take action. If all the fish in our seas die what are we going to do?

stone fish, dead and bloated up

For more information check out

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

think globally

think globally
Originally uploaded by Salt Water People
Reusable shopping bags...think about it.

Maldives import plastic bags by the millions each year and most of it is used only once.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Small Small Victory

The National Handicraft Center located in the STO trade center has removed the black coral products sold there. Last Wednesday a person from the Trade Ministry informed that it was illegal to sell black coral. They had asked Najah Art Place, their business partner to remove all the products from their shop.

Few questions arises…Wonder what made them do that? And I wonder what happened to all the removed items? Should it be burned in front of the press at Dhoonidhoo along with all the other illegal stuff the government confiscates? What about the profit the shop has yielded from selling the illegal and endangered black coral? And what kind of action would they take from any further trade of it and to stop such trade from the rest of the tourist shops?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Great Divide - Khandhogu Hanguraama!

The people VS the island chief

The people of L. Gan, Thundi avah has dug a trench across there main roads. Some people on the island are taking sand from the beach and selling it to the building contracting companies. This was done to prevent the pick up trucks from going to the beach area and transporting the sand across the island.
I think somewhere in some rule it says that it’s illegal to take sand from the beach of any inhabited island. The only places you could mine the sand is from the isolated lagoons which are not connected to any islands. And now people are taking the sand from their own island!
According to the islanders the biggest “Sand Stealers” are the island chiefs of both Thundi and Mathimaradhoo avah of L. Gan. The beach sand is being sold at 6 MRF per bag. Apparently hundreds of thousands sand bags has been sold by them!
The trench diggers said they had no choice but to do so. They had tried in the first place to be civil and go through the proper channels by informing the government and the police but no corrective action was taken.

its a beutiful place out there

wonder how long it would take until we cover the whole place with garbage

and poison all the life

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Robber Dealer Black Coral Stealer!!!

Friend of mine told me to take a look at the new souvenier shop opened at the STO trade center, so I popped my head in to see what was there

most of the items at the shop were made out of black coral
necklaces, ear rings, ornamental knives, staffs, etc
Black coral is listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

also black coral is listed in Maldives as a marine product that is prohibited to export.

After inquiring with the sales personal at the shop, it was found that the place was run by the government in alliance with Najah of Najah art place. Apparently its the Trade Ministry which is behind the set up.

I dont know if the laws have changed yet or not. We've yet to find out whats this all about and whats going on here.

The souveniers at the shop has a tag that boasts that they are "Authentic Maldivian Products".

A shark jaw and some ormaments made out of shark teeth at the same shop.

Pink Coral, used as decoration in the shop.
What next? Shark Fin Soup available at Nasandhura?
All pictures was taken on 12th September 2006.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Take a Day to Leave a Legacy - International Clean Up Day

International Clean up Day is coming up next weekend - 15th Sepmtember 2007. Maldivers is joining with Strength of Society (a local NGO) for a beach clean up at Hulhu Male'. All volunteers welcome!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Swimming With the Giants

Manta Season is in high gear on our side of the atoll and its possible to see them in the tens.

They put up a fine show for the divers as they come to the cleaning stations to get rid of parasites.They glide by, somersault and chase each other.

Planktons for lunch anyone? All the giants of the sea skip through several levels in the food chain to feed on the planktonsWonder where the manta chaser we ran into last year is? Everyone keep an eye out for him. Lets hope we run into him again....hehehe...

This video was taken on 22/07/2006. It shows the dive guide from Gasfinolhu leading the divers onto the topof the manta cleaning station engaging in some active interaction.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Man Dolphin

Some of you might know him from school as the guy who fanatically listened to bands such as Korn, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tool, etc and the dive crowd might know his as that free diving guy with the weird conjoined fins who came to the clean ups we had.

Several years ago Monde’ (Mohamed Hamza) came up with the thought that he wanted to take up free diving as a sport. We didn’t take him much seriously back then but today it’s a reality. He is off to Egypt to undergo training with some of the best free divers out there and in a few months time to take part in an international free dive competition. As far as I’ve heard of he is the first Maldivian to take part in such a competition.

Free diving with its disciplines is one of the most extreme sports out there. And it takes dedication and years of practice to be able to enter into such a competition.

Good luck to you Monde’ and may you kick some ass!

for more information abotu apnea and free diving plz check out the following links

Monday, July 16, 2007

Official Shark Awareness day

Did you know that last Saturday, July the 14th is the Official Shark Awareness day? It was just yesterday that I realized that that day before was that day. So here’s some belated enlightening for you all.

  • 100 million sharks are killed annually worldwide

  • 200 sharks are killed every minute (that’s 3 sharks per second)

  • Many millions die a slow death, robbed of their fins

  • Sharks reproduce late in life and have few offspring

  • 10,000 tonnes of shark fins are traded around the world

  • Shark finning is associated with crime and corruption

  • Once sharks are gone from the oceans, tourism all over the world will be affected, causing fundamental effects on local economies

  • Sharks are top predators of ecosystems - without them a whole range of species will be affected

Few months ago a friend of mine who works as a GRO in a nearby resort called me from Himmafushi where some of his guest were touring the island. There is a fish processing plant on that island apparently belonging to a local famous comedian and puppet of the regime and there was a dead big hammerhead shark being brought to the plant. After doing some digging he found out that this shark was caught just off Furana Fushi (Furana North-the dive site).

Sharks being the top predators play the part of keeping the fish stocks healthy. And without them the quality of the fishes are going to go down. And the food chains come crashing down. Sharks are highly migratory and they are moving around our waters. Most our country is the sea and most probably it is not monitored well in terms of who fishes in our waters, what they catch and what methods they use!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Pink, the new Black?

Recently, a friend and I were going about the tourist souvenir shops at the STO trade center and we came stumbled upon a shop where they had pink coral for sale. The guy in the shop was cementing smaller pieces of the pink coral to make it into a big piece. Pink Coral along with Red Coral are one of the most precious types of coral and it is used in the making of jewelry and home deco materials.
It might not sound like a big issue taking a few chunks of some coral and selling it to the tourists. But in the long run it could lead to over exploitation like what happened to the Black Coral. Although Black Coral has been banned there was a time when this slow growing species was cut down and made into various items and sold as souvenirs along with the shark jaws and turtle shells.

I once saw a documentary on Nat Geo where a diver from Italy does very deep dives for the pink coral and is sold for quite an amount but this is the first time I’ve seen it being sold here. In Maldives. The representative of all the small island states. The follower of all responsible and sound environmental practices. And the leading example of conservation.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Photoz 0005

filter feeding

twice the service

a dangerous client

sleeping hole

hanging out at Maldive Victory

old man of the wreck

inside....the shimmerings created by trapped air

creature from the deep

selt portrait...