MRC advises against reclamation due to coral bleaching

Marine Research Centre (MRC) has advised to temporarily halt any project which may affect the reefs such as reclamation.

In a statement, MRC, run under Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resource and Agriculture, said the latest records on United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service programme shows Maldives is on Watch Level 4 and forecast that it might rise to Warning Level. The statement further added some southern parts of Maldives are already on Alert Level 1.

MRC noted the restoration to normal forms after coral bleaching takes less time in Maldives compared to other countries. Highlighting coral bleaching is frequent in Maldives, MRC warned artificial changes such as reclamation and beach nourishment may delay the restoration process.

For such reasons, the research centre has advised to temporarily stop all such environmentally impacted projects. The research centre has asked to notify the centre if cases of coral bleaching is identified.

Maldives first experienced coral bleaching in 1998.