Collaborator Spotlight: Marine Research Centre, Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Maldives

Funded by Vulcan, Inc. and the Pew Global Shark Campaign, the labs of Drs Demian Chapman and Mark Meekan headed to sample the Maldives in May 2016. Back in 2015, both Global FinPrint researchers were introduced to the Marine Research Centre, Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture through Khadeeja Ali, a government employee, thanks to a meeting held by the Pew Charitable Trusts.


Khadeeja had the opportunity to join the research expedition in the Maldives and learn how to set baited remote underwater videos. One of our ongoing missions for this collaboration is to continue Khadeeja’s training and further her education. In doing so, she will acquire research experience that will benefit the Maldivian government and help them continue to make informed conservation decisions. She will be applying to work as a Masters student in Dr. Demian Chapman’s lab at Florida International University this summer.


The teams successfully sampled five reefs, and the results will update the estimate of the economic value of reef sharks and shark diving to the economy of the Maldives. The Maldives is a progressive leader for shark conservation, as they recently headed the successful proposal to list silky sharks on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Marine Research Centre, Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Maldives
Marine Research Centre, Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Maldives

The mandate entrusted to the Marine Research Centre by the President’s Office (Letter No: 1-D/30/99/15 of 21 February 1999) are:

  • Plan, coordinate and conduct scientific research on marine resources of the country.
  • To undertake marine research directed at the conservation, enhancement and management of the marine environment in general and for fisheries exploitation in particular
  • Disseminate knowledge to the government and to the public with the objective of creating public awareness about the fisheries and the marine environment.
  • Study ways and means, which will increase the fisheries sector’s contribution to the economy of the country.
  • Conduct resource surveys in selected Areas within the country.
  • Compile and implement a database, holding data as well as scientific information on marine resources.
  • Undertake research on technological innovations, which will promote the rational utilisation of the marine resources. This also involves the introduction of these technologies to the fishing industry.
  • Publish research findings and reference materials with the objective of creating public awareness about the marine environment.

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