Noo Raajje has released the final report of the world’s largest Ocean Use Survey ever conducted. The nationwide survey shows how more than 25,000 Maldivians use and value their ocean. The report is available online at www.nooraajje.org/oceanusesurvey.
The Noo Raajje team presented the survey findings for the first time at Maldives National University and hosted a community event on Rasdhoo to celebrate and engage ocean users. The final report revealed that overall community response to the survey was positive, and that people were eager to continue participating in planning for the future of the ocean.
The Noo Raajje team visited all 189 inhabited islands and collected over 4,900 survey responses, making this the largest Ocean Use Survey to ever be conducted worldwide. Survey responses exceeded population-based targets and reached more than double the fisher target.
Noo Raajje hosted an interactive presentation at Maldives National University where 50 students, faculty members, government officials and members of the conservation community had the opportunity to hear key findings and engage in discussion with Noo Raajje team members.
Noo Raajje also held a community event at Rasdhoo to celebrate the completion of the Ocean Use Survey. As an island with a strong fishing and tourism industry that is also home to a Marine Protected Area, the island of Rasdhoo is an example of how different ocean uses can work together for the economy, environment, and community. The Kanduveringe Festival featured a fishing competition, ocean races, and educational activities.
The Ocean Use Survey is a first step in ensuring all ocean use sectors, especially fishers, are consulted and represented in the ongoing Marine Spatial Planning process, which aims to be science-based, community-driven and collaborative. The team coordinated closely with key government agencies and the President’s Office in designing and implementing the survey.
Maldivians still have the opportunity to get involved in the ocean planning process by providing input and feedback to the draft Marine Spatial Plans, which Noo Raajje will be releasing in the coming months, starting with the Offshore Marine Spatial Plan.
“Every decision we make about the ocean affects Maldivians, and it is very important that we know exactly how people use the ocean space, and how they value it. It was very encouraging to see the high level of participation in the Ocean Use Survey, across all sectors, including fishers, the tourism industry, shipping industry, cultural users, recreational users and more. I hope this high level of engagement remains in future planning processes as well,” said Minister of Fisheries Dr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan.
“We wouldn’t have been able to complete the World’s largest Ocean Use Survey without receiving a lot of support from a lot of institutions, conservation partners and most importantly local communities. Noo Raajje is thankful for the support for the survey and hope that the support will continue in the future,” said Fathimath Nistharan, Noo Raaje Site Manager.
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