Archive for the ‘Sharks’ Category


‘Maldives: Colours of the Ocean’

In Aqua,Diving,Dreams,Maldives Diving Scuba Manta Ray,maldives diving scuba underwater fish marine sea india beauty,Nauticam,Photography,SCUBA,Shark,Sharks,Underwater on October 13, 2011 by atollscuba

‘Maldives: Colours of the Ocean’ is the first publication of Maldives Promotion House and it will be launched in a few weeks time. The authors are Mohamed Shafraz Naeem & Mohamed Shafraz Hafiz. This is a hard cover coffee table book of 122 pages & 99 breathtaking underwater photos by Mohamed Shafraz Naeem ‘Shaff’. It will be the perfect gift to show the colourful life beneath the Maldivian waters.

Maldives: Colours of the Ocean

To pre-order the book please contact:



Reef Fishes of the Maldives

In Aqua,Diving,Dreams,Maldives,Nauticam,Photography,SCUBA,Shark,Sharks,Squidmedia,Underwater on August 9, 2011 by atollscuba

‘Reef Fishes of the Maldives’ is both an encyclopaedia and a love letter to the defining aspect of Maldive’s natural beauty, its reefs. Author Dr. Charles Anderson obviously loves what he has seen here, and he has collaborated with some of the biggest authorities on the Maldivian seas to craft a definitive work.

The intimate knowledge of the reefs shine through in the content. Broken down into 64 categories, the reef fishes of the Maldives are arranged in a display of some of the warmest underwater photography. The details are meticulous; information on average size, an idea of general behaviour, biology, rarity, and habitat are provided in addition to the anecdotes both historical and personal.

The text is bite-sized and easy to digest, making for an easy read. The uniformity of the structure and layout make the book ideal for carrying around to consult on the fly, while the integrity of the content ensures the volume’s status as reference material.

Ultimately Reef Fishes’s dual nature as both reference material and coffee table book make it easy to recommend. The text is informative and insightful, while the photos are taken with a familiarity, making one aware of the living, breathing nature of the world below the surface of Maldivian seas.


Baa Atoll, Maldives – A UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve

In Aqua,Atoll,Diving,Dreams,Gates Housings,Maldives Diving Scuba Manta Ray,Maldives Shaff Aqua Dreams Imaging Whale Shark Manta,Nauticam,Photography,Shark,Sharks,Underwater on August 7, 2011 by atollscuba

By Guy Stevens

Last month at the 40th anniversary of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO’s) ‘Man and the Biosphere Program’ in Dresden, Germany the entirety of Baa Atoll in the Republic of Maldives was declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.  World Biosphere Reserves are places where conservation, research and development successfully interconnect. They integrate biological and cultural diversity, combining core protected areas with zones where sustainable development – and innovative approaches to it – are fostered, tested and developed by locals and enterprises alike.  Baa Atoll joins an illustrious list of international Biosphere Reserves including: The Galapagos Islands, Ayer’s Rock in Australia, the Pantanal wetlands of Brazil, the Niagara escarpment in Canada, the Sundarbans of India, and the Amboseli National Park in Kenya.

Critically Endangered Mountain Gorillas in the World Biosphere Reserve in the Volcans National Park, Rwanda

Baa Atoll is one of the Republic of Maldives’ 26 geographical atolls, covering an area of 1,200km² it contains some of the richest coral reef systems in the world, which literally and metaphorically support the local communities and a thriving tourism industry. UNESCO recognizes Baa Atoll’s “great potential for demonstrating sustainable development throughout the Maldives and the region, while relying on a green economy.”  The jewel in the biological crown of Baa Atoll is a tiny bay called Hanifaru, where seasonal gatherings of manta rays and whale sharks have made this site world famous in recent years, attracting hordes tourists from across the globe to immerse themselves in the tropical waters amongst a feeding frenzy of these gentle giants.

For the last five years the Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) and the Four Seasons Resort at Landaa Giraavaru in Baa Atoll have supported my research and conservation work through the Maldivian Manta Ray Project (MMRP).  I am therefore delighted at UNESCO’s announcement of World Biosphere Reserve status for Baa Atoll, especially as  Hanifaru is to become one of the reserves core protected areas.  This designation is the culmination of many years of hard work and planning by the Maldivian Government, whom I have been working closely with for the last four years, pushing for greater protection of this special site.

With Hanifaru declared an official Marine Protected Area (MPA) in 2009, and now with the implementation of a site specific management plan for this core protected area, the future for Hanifaru Bay and its visitors looks promising.  However, this ecologically and economically important site exemplifies the current trend across the entire Maldivian Archipelago, where nature and tourism struggles to find an equilibrium; as economic growth and development threatens to undermine the natural foundations upon which this coral island nation so intrinsically depends. It is therefore extremely important that these titles of protective intent are translated into real conservation on site.

In a world which is driven by economics, it is simply not enough to say to governments, or local communities, that you should protect a species, or its habitat, simply for its intrinsic or scientific value alone.  Unfortunately we live in a world where the majority of people just do not have that luxury of choice to care, or the education to overcome the ignorance which leads to a lack of empathy.  The reality is that nature must pay for itself in a tangible and direct way. Those entrusted with its protection should not only be obliged by law to protect, they must also have the will and the desire to do so.

Mass Feeding event at Hanifaru Bay; Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Core Protected Area

This philosophy is at the heart of UNESCO’s World Biosphere Program, which is why I am confident that Hanifaru will become a place where manta rays, tourism and the local communities can, and should, all benefit from its existence.  Where the road to sustainable management is a real and effective path upon which the conservation of our oceans, and its resources, can travel for the future benefit of all, forever.

About the Author: Guy Stevens is the Founding Director of Maldivian Manta Ray Project. Guy has worked for the Four Seasons Resorts in the Maldives since 2003 as their Senior Marine Biologist. At the heart of Guy’s research is the Maldivian Manta Ray Project which has been undertaking ground breaking research on these spectacular marine giants for the last 4 years. Please visit MMRP website for more information:


Shark Fisheries Banned in the Maldives

In Aqua,Diving,Dreams,Ikelite,Maldives,Photography,SCUBA,Shaff,Shark,Sharks,Underwater on March 12, 2009 by atollscuba

The Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture has imposed a ban on shark fisheries from all the atolls of the Maldives. The ban will be on all shark fisheries within a 12 nautical mile radius. Previously the ban was on imposed on 7 atolls. This is good move after tremendous efforts by various parties and individuals. 

Juvenile Black-Tip Reef Shark fished in Baa Atoll                (Photo: Shaff)

The Ministry has set a target of one year to ban all shark fisheries including oceanic sharks and the export of all shark products. The permanent secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture said that “The fishery law clearly tells us that we can protect any marine species if we feel that it’s threatened or endangered for any reason. We have taken very strong action against the protection of sharks simply because they were protected worldwide and are very important for tourism.”

Juvenile Black-Tip Reef Sharks fished in Baa Atoll         (Photos: Shaff)

It will be a difficult task to enforce the ban, but the ministry says that the responsibility to enforce will have to be shared by the atoll offices, the police and the ministry.

An attempted finning on a live Whale Shark in Ari Atoll      (Photo: Mohamed Faizan Waheed)

According to the Secretary General of Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), the effect of the ban on the tourism industry would be ‘tremendous’ as 30 percent of the tourists visit the Maldives for it’s underwater life and in addition to Manta Rays, Sharks would be their number one priority.

A Grey Reef Shark at Maaya Thila, Ari Atoll     (Photo: Shaff)


Happy New Year 2009

In Aqua,Diving,Dreams,Gates Housings,Maldives,Maldives Diving Scuba Manta Ray,Maldives Shaff Aqua Dreams Imaging Whale Shark Manta,Nauticam,Photography,SCUBA,Shark,Sharks,Uncategorized,Underwater on January 1, 2009 by atollscuba


Just some random photos from Baa Atoll

In Aqua,Atoll,Diving,Dreams,Gates Housings,Maldives Diving Scuba Manta Ray,Maldives Shaff Aqua Dreams Imaging Whale Shark Manta,Nauticam,Photography,SCUBA,Shark,Sharks,Uncategorized,Underwater on December 11, 2008 by atollscuba

These are some photos taken at different dive sites of Baa Atoll during the dive trip. Enjoy!

Scorpionfish / Stonefish


Clark’s Anemonefish

Brittle Star on a Soft Coral

Maldive Anemonefish

Long-Nosed Hawkfish

Juvenile Clark’s Anemonefish



Back from filming and photography in Baa Atoll

In Aqua,Atoll,Diving,Dreams,Gates Housings,Ikelite,Maldives,Maldives Diving Scuba Manta Ray,Nauticam,Photography,SCUBA,Shark,Sharks,Uncategorized,Underwater on December 10, 2008 by atollscuba

Aqua Dreams & Maldivers Dive team returned from filming the Manta Rays and Whale Sharks in Baa Atoll Hanifaru recently after a week of diving. Captured really good video footage and photographs of the Mantas and Whale Sharks feeding at Hanifaru bay. There were countless number of Manta Rays and about 5 to 8 different Whale Sharks. The videos are currently being edited and compiled by our editors and the photos are being selected and archived. A video of the Hanifaru Dive trip will be uploaded in a few days to our Youtube channel:

The Team 

Yaambe filming a Manta Ray

Manta Rays & School of Fussilers

Shaff filming the Manta Rays

Yaanbe & a Whale Shark

Whale Shark & Cameraman

The trip would have not been possible if not for the valuable help from Jinah and the people of Island of Kendhoo specially Alibe, Mode and Sappe’.