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Title: Environmental impact assessment proposed mariculture project for sea cucumber and grouper in Fares, Baa Atoll, Maldives
Authors: Sandcays
Keywords: Mariculture projects
Sea cumcumbers
Sea cage fish farm
Culture techniques and procedures
Grow-out fish farming
Existing environment
Environmental impacts
Mitigation measures
Legislative and regulatory considerations
Environmental monitoring
Environmental impact assessments
Issue Date: Jul-2011
Citation: Sandcays. (2011). Environmental impact assessment proposed mariculture project for sea cucumber and grouper in Fares, Baa Atoll, Maldives. Male': Maldives
Abstract: This report addresses the environmental concerns of the proposed mariculture project for the farming of sea cucumber and grouper in the lagoon of Fares, Baa Atoll. Sea cucumber juveniles and grouper fingerlings will be bought from local hatcheries such as the sea cucumber hatchery at Nalandhoo and MIFCO‟s grouper hatchery in Kanduoiy Giri. Sea cucumber juveniles (over four months old) will be put in the deep lagoon to grow out in its natural habitat to the adult size. The sea cucumber will grow to adult size in a year. Groupers grow out at much faster rates. Depending on potential developments in the fisheries sector, and local and international markets, additional mari-culture activities will be carried out as Fares Falhu Mari culture project develops. Potential activities include baitfish culture, pearl culture, wild-caught live hood fish stocking and selling, and seaweed culture. Separate environmental assessments will be carried out for these future developments. The investor for the project is Abdul Rasheed Hussain, who has been the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture as well as the Minister of Planning and Environment for a number of years. He was involved in several aquaculture projects undertaken by his Ministry and his love for the fisheries sector and his desire for further expansion of the industry has placed him in the private investment sector today. The proposed project is expected to be managed in conformity with local and international regulations and standards of relevance, especially environmental regulations and standards. Therefore, environmental impacts will be well managed, minimized and mitigated. The overall environmental impacts of the project have been assessed using appropriate matrices and the results indicated that the proposed project had net positive impact. That is, the project has no major adverse impacts on the environment as far as current knowledge is concerned. Given that the project has major socio-economic benefits and some environmental benefits, it is recommended to allow the project to proceed as proposed. However, due to the project being among a few of its kind in the country, it is important to consider uncertainties and continue to monitor the project impacts and undertake appropriate mitigation measures in consultation with the EPA and other relevant government agencies. It is also necessary to keep all concerned stakeholders informed of regular environmental monitoring activities and share the data. In addition, it would be mandatory for the Proponent to present regular monitoring data to the Environmental Protection Agency on a regular basis as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency.
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