- BLUE is working to protect the Maldivian grouper. Groupers, a valuable reef fish, are exported live to Hong Kong leaving stocks perilously close to collapse.
- BLUE is working with the Maldivian government and Six Senses Laamu to restrict the export of undersized grouper and so revive the population.
- The aim is to ensure the future of the grouper species and so protect fishermen’s livelihoods.
Groupers are vital for maintaining the health of reef ecosystems. However, in the Maldives, grouper are being exported live to Hong Kong and many populations are on the brink of collapse.
BLUE is working closely with the Maldivian government and Six Senses Laamu to conserve grouper populations through a combination of research, education and awareness-raising among fishermen.
The project aims to identify specific sites for protecting groupers during spawning while also providing key data to the Maldivian Government to improve grouper fisheries management across the whole country.
The project started in January 2016 when a team from BLUE completed a successful scoping trip to the Maldives to collect background information and develop the project concept with our partners.
Then in August 2016 BLUE recruited Vivienne Evans from the University of York and Shaha Hashim, seconded to the Maldivian government’s Marine Research Centre to interview fishermen, conduct dive surveys to identify and map grouper spawning aggregation sites and develop a marine environmental education and awareness programme for local stakeholders, schools and resort staff and guests.
The project is a great example of collaboration between Six Senses, who backed the project from the outset, Marks & Spencer who are supporting the educational programme, the Maldivian government and BLUE.
‘We are proud to work with BLUE to ensure long-term protection of the Atoll’s marine environment.’- Marteyne Van Well, General Manager, Six Senses Laamu