Maldives

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Emperor Divers’ Recognizes the Eight and Final Covid Diver Hero

Mon, 14/06/2021 - 20:46

We received hundreds of nominations and left it up to a varied panel of loyal staff to sift through the entries. All inspired, many amazed and some brought tears. What is clear is that divers are awesome, and it came as no surprise that within the international underwater community there were so many selfless, empathetic heroes.

Our panel have made the final choice for the 8th liveaboard prize, this time for a trip of a lifetime in The Maldives, Nominated by his cousin, Alex Chan, this is his story:

Join Blue Force's liveaboard and test dive the Horizon semi-closed rebreather!

If you are able to travel at short notice, there's a last-minute opportunity to join the Maldives 'Blue Force One'. You could be boarding this premier boat in three weeks' time, and diving the classic 'central Atolls route'. 

The aim is to find hammerheads, dolphins, eagle rays and shoals of colourful fish

Fresh shark fins drying on sidewalk
(File photo) Fresh shark fins drying on sidewalk

Maldives backpaddles after outcry over lifting shark fishing ban

Shark fishing was completely banned in the Maldives in 2010 so when the country announced plans to discuss legalising the practice again, it created a massive backlash from the international community.

Sharks have always been a valuable tourist attraction in the small island nation and the declining status of shark fisheries, exacerbated by unresolved conflicts with other stakeholders led to the declaration of total shark fishing ban in 2010. With the shark fishing ban in place, sharks are now caught as bycatch in the Maldivian fisheries.

The Maldives' Deep South Atolls

Snorkelers can swim with whale sharks at Gaafu
Snorkelers can swim with whale sharks at Gaafu

We were in Addu, the second largest “city” in the Maldives and capital of the southernmost atoll. Located 45 miles below the equator, and 540km south of Malé, this is the most remote of the 26 atolls that, scattered along almost 900km of the Indian Ocean, make up the archipelago of the Maldives.

Maldives: The Southern Atolls

Whale shark feeding under the lights off the back of the boat at night.

The subtle knock on the door roused me from my slumber. It was 2 a.m. and the wake-up call could only mean one thing. A whale shark had finally appeared to feed on the large aggregation of plankton attracted to the light set out behind the boat. I scrambled out of bed and raced upstairs to get my camera.