Joint Statement opposing the lifting of the shark ban in the Maldives
On 23 March 2021, responding to questions from Members of the Parliament at the Economic Affairs Committee of the People’s Majlis, the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Research and Agriculture, stated that they were considering the option to lift the Maldives’ 11-year-old shark fishery ban. The Ministry stated that they see “no reason not to” lift the ban to reap benefits from fishing this economic resource.
With Maldives having declared a climate emergency, it is inconsistent for the country to undermine its position as a safe haven and hope-spot for sharks which play a vital role in maintaining the health of the Maldives’ marine environment.
Therefore, we the undersigned Concerned Stakeholders urge the State Authorities not to lift the shark fishing and trade bans that have been in place for over a decade.
The undersigned Concerned Stakeholders also call upon the State Authorities to uphold the rule of law to enforce the legal protections for sharks, to ensure accountability and to conduct timely and transparent investigations on the following cases:
- The attempted illegal export of 429 kg of shark fins seized by the Maldives Customs Service on 3 January 2021 at Velana International Airport;
- The vessel that was apprehended by Maldives Police Service carrying a large quantity of sharks and shark products in South Ari Atoll on 23 March 2021; and
- The illegal drum fishing line discovered by a tourist at the popular dive site, Fish Head in North Ari Atoll with several hooked sharks on 24 March 2021.
We urge State authorities to give serious consideration to the fragility of the balance of nature in the Maldives today. As a nation of 99% water and 1% land, the health of the ocean is vital for its survival. At a time where we are grappling multiple crises; the Covid-19 pandemic, economic crisis; to name but a few, the climate crisis and ecological crises are threat multipliers. Safeguarding the sharks is essential for Maldivians to be able to survive and thrive.
Diverse Travel expand Maldives programme with Boutique Beach
Dive holiday experts Diverse Travel have added Boutique Beach to their Maldives programme.
Designed specifically with divers in mind, Boutique Beach is a charming boutique hotel, perfect for those who want a taste of the real Maldives without compromising on incredible diving. This award-winning hotel is situated just steps away from a spectacular 2.5km stretch of white sandy beach on the ‘local’ island of Dhigurah in the famous Whale Shark area of South Ari atoll.
The waters surrounding South Ari atoll are renowned in the Maldives for their unique, year-round sightings of Whale Sharks, and the area attracts many divers and snorkellers involved in Whale Shark conservation and research. There are over 50 dive sites within close reach of the island of Dhigurah including many of the most famous and exciting thilas – deep channel reefs full of marine life – in the Maldives. Spectacular sites such as the marine protected reef of Kudarah Thila are just minutes by boat from the island. Mantas regularly feed in the lagoon directly in front of Boutique Beach, as well as at the cleaning station at Rangali, which is within easy reach of the hotel.
With six large double / twin guest rooms, each with balcony or private garden, Boutique Beach is the perfect base for a small group of divers or snorkellers. In-room camera workstations also make this hotel an ideal choice for underwater photographers. The PADI 5* dive centre specialises in guiding in small groups with an emphasis on safety, personal service and maximising marine life encounters.
As well as boasting excellent diving and snorkelling, Boutique Beach’s location on Dhigurah adds another interesting dimension for visitors. One of the longest islands in the Maldives, Dhigurah is home to a population of around 600 Maldivians who are happy to share their way of life with international guests. Boutique Beach supports many community initiatives on the island, and visitors staying at Boutique Beach are able to partake in local activities such as cooking, crafting and sports, allowing for a unique travel experience.
Diverse Travel Product Manager Phillip Connor says:
“Adding Boutique Beach to our programme is an exciting move for Diverse Travel. The Maldives is one of our top destinations, and it’s great to be able to offer our guests truly spectacular diving, alongside the chance to experience a little of real island life, at an excellent price. We’re confident that this unique, British diver designed and managed hotel will become one of our most popular holidays, and look forward to hearing about all the tremendous marine encounters from our guests.”
Introductory Special Offer
Diverse Travel are currently offering an introductory saving of up to 25% on holiday packages to the Maldives staying at Boutique Beach. Dive holiday packages start from just £2575pp (based on November 2022) and include return flights London to Male with 30kgs baggage + extra 15kgs for dive baggage, 7 nights at Boutique Beach in a double / twin room with a ‘soft’ all-inclusive meal plan, up to three dives per day with boat trips, tanks and weights, return speedboat from Male (sea plane at an additional charge), local taxes and green tax, plus ATOL and full financial protection as standard.
Discover more about Boutique Beach on the Diverse Travel website at www.diversetravel.co.uk/dive-resorts/maldives/boutique-beach
Euro-Divers celebrates 50 years! (Watch Video)
Euro-Divers is celebrating its 50th anniversary! October 1972 marked the beginning of the Maldives’ tourism industry and the opening of the country’s first resort, with the first Euro-Divers dive centre providing scuba diving activities. A great passion for diving brought the right people together in the right place, which has developed over the years.
Euro-Divers would like to say a big THANK YOU to all their clients to all their partners who gave them the trust and opportunity to provide diving services throughout all those years.
The Euro-Divers team look forward to continuing to provide world-class diving, watersports, and excursions, giving clients access to the best locations in the world in a safe, friendly, and professional manner.
Congratulations Euro-Divers on five decades of incredible diving with friends!
Find out more at www.euro-divers.com