|Abstract: ||This Environmental Impact Assessment report outlines the findings of our environmental studies for breeding, larval production and mariculture of Plectropomus areolatus (Pisces: Serranidae: Epinephelinae) on Lh. Gaaerifaru. The island has been leased to Ocean Quartiers Properties Pvt. Ltd by the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture.
The project aims at establishing a high nutritional value of reef fish for both local consumption and resort supply, and for export as well. And establishing the setup based on the local conditions provided. It also aims at gaining knowledge transferable to other similar projects in the Maldives.
The Study Area contains detailed maps of the site plan and the boundaries, along with the justification of the site.
Scope of work includes the descriptions of the proposed project. Reclamation works, estimated to be over within 3 months, will commence once the setup is confirmed. The works of the sea cage will start along with the reclamation works and is estimated to take about 3 months to finish. The Grow out tanks, office, laboratory and packaging facility works will take place after. And this is estimated to finish within a 4 month period. The jetty and the Shore protection work will start once the reclamation project starts and is estimated to take 3 months to finish the works. The scope of work also points out the inputs and outputs during constructional and operational phase. Furthermore, focuses on the type of species and types to be cultured. This includes the taxonomy and morphology, biology and ecology, spawning aggregations, sex-associated colour differences, environmental ranges, known geographical distribution, conservation status, history and the process of aquaculture of Plectropomus areolatus. Continued furthermore on the cages and tanks, the location the size details along with the phases for various purposes are explained. The acquisition, Brood Stock spawning, artificial spawning, rearing of the larvae, grow out, feeding, waste removal methods, and disease control and health management of the juveniles of the targeted species are thoroughly explained in this chapter. Even though the targeted species is Plectropomus areolatus, further compatible candidate species are mentioned as well.
The justification and methodology for jetty construction is explained, along with the duration estimated for the task. Reclamation plans for the site are given, with the location and size of the burrow areas on a detailed map of the site. Justification for the locations chosen, the methodology of this process and quantity of sand needed for the phase, its duration and labor works estimated is included as well.
Power supply and oil storage for the whole project is explained along with the amount of solar power required to operate the whole facility and the location best to install the solar panels. Solar power will be used as a backup, only if the diesel power generators are shut off or in case of maintenance or system failure. The transportation method and volume of diesel required are explained. Solid waste and sewage waste disposal methods are explained thoroughly with the overall scheme for the waste management plan.
The project management chapter points out the approximate area for the reclamation of land. More on the sea cages grow out tanks for the egg-rearing, larval-rearing and juvenile rearing are mentioned. Furthermore, the build of coastal structures to prevent the migration of the pumped sand along the shore are explained. The jetty, solar power house, office, laboratory, packaging facility and water storage is looked upon briefly. Seawater inlet and outlet explains the uses of seawater for stocking and rearing seeds, larvae and juvenile fishes in tanks. The location of
where the channel should be dredged, its reasons are explained along with the schedule of work which contains three phases. The site preparation and mobilization phase, the constructional phase, and the operational phase to be continued till the end of the lease period.
Description of the environment focuses on the climate, bathymetry of the site, the marine environment, and the hazard vulnerabilities. The climate includes the temperature, rainfall and humidity of the climate. It also includes the wind, waves and current. The bathymetry gives out a detailed map of the site area showing the areas and depths of the all-around reef system. The marine environment explains the methodology and results of the fish, substrate and coral survey transects with the aid of pie and bar charts. The seawater quality is also included in the marine environment, with the location map and the geo-coordinates of locations the water samples were collected. Finally, the hazard vulnerability states the effects caused in case of a tsunami generated in the Indian Ocean.
The chapter of potential impacts on the natural environment and mitigation measures includes the identification of the impacts discussed between the EIA team and the proponent, and the mitigation measures identified. The mitigation measures include the existing environmental concerns, the impacts on the natural environment during the constructional phase, and the impacts during the operational phase. The project alternatives discuss with the advantages, disadvantages and the recommendations for alternatives. These alternatives include the no project option, alternative types of species, alternative methods of culture, alternative location for the jetty, and the alternative energy required.
The various types of environmental monitoring, measuring and recording of environmental, social and economic variables associated with the development impacts are explained in the monitoring plan. The monitoring program is represented in a table containing the details of the different three phases, methods, estimated cost and other information.
The statements and the main concerns are looked upon under the stakeholder consultation which includes Inter-Agency coordination and public/NGO participation members. Three meetings were held to discuss these concerns and ideas which include the scoping meeting, the island council meeting, and a meeting held with Marine Research Center.|