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Title: Environmental impact assessment report : construction and operation of Maniyafushi field station Maniyafushi, Kaafu Atoll
Authors: Land and Marine Environmental Resource Group
Keywords: Existing environment
Geographic location of Maniyafushi
Geology and geomorphology
Bathymetric survey
Marine environment
Groundwater quality
Environmental impacts
Constructional impacts
Operational impacts
Issue Date: Jan-2018
Citation: Land and Marine Environmental Resource Group. (2018). Environmental impact assessment report : construction and operation of Maniyafushi field station Maniyafushi, Kaafu Atoll. Male': Maldives
Abstract: The proposed project is a continuous project implemented by the MRC and executed by MOFA, which will seek funds for its continuation. The project is an extension of an existing mariculture research and development operation, focusing on research and development of mariculture techniques for the brown marbled grouper, milkfish, sandfish and local varieties of sea cucumbers such as the white teatfish. In addition, the project will target on establishing research and capacity for coral reef studies and reef fisheries. In the immediate term, mariculture research and development capacity will be established to facilitate the establishment and development of a mariculture industry in the country. The project aims at establishing production capacity for approximately 25,000 pieces of fingerling size groupers per production cycle to pilot viability of grow out operations. Further, the project aims at developing research capacity for sea cucumber hatchery technology as well as the production of milkfish. Impacts on the environment from various activities of the construction work and during the operation of the facility have been identified through interviews with the project management team, field data collection and surveys are also based on past experience of consultant in similar development projects. The impacts identified are also described according to their location, extent and characteristics. Mitigation measures have also been identified for impacts which are irreversible in nature. Impact analysis was done using the Leopold matrix. Impact analysis showed that impact of highest significance is on seawater quality as majority of the project is established in the lagoon and sea. The proposed development is expected to bring significant socioeconomic impacts on the locals, especially the island communities as the project will mainly focus on training Atoll communities interested in grouper and sea cucumber farming on a large scale. Since there is a high demand for export business of these two species, it will bring high economic benefits to the local communities. Moreover, it will create many job opportunities especially for the unskilled workers. Mitigation measures are discussed in the report for potential impacts, including measures to minimize the impacts on seawater quality, such as regular change of water (by 25%) of the closed hatchery system and avoiding trampling outside project boundary. Detailed mitigation measures are discussed in Section 11 of the report. Alternatives have been considered for the specific location of the grow-out pens. The ‘no project’ alternative is also considered. If this alternative was to be chosen, this would mean that all negative environmental impacts which would arise due to construction would not be there. However, the ‘no-project’ scenario would take away an opportunity the local communities to explore a highly rewarding economic venture.
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