Gaaf Dhaal Atoll Fiyori Island Council has passed a resolution declaring the Island’s mangrove area as protected, local media ‘Sun‘ has reported.
The resolution passed at an open public meeting on Thursday said the mangrove area at the south end of t he island is being declared protected for its unique natural features. The council noted that it is a natural breeding ground for freshwater ‘Beyngu’ (Milkfish) and shrimp, in addition to being suitable for culturing sea cucumber.
According to the council resolution, the mangrove has sustained serious damaged following a tidal wave which hit the seaward side of the island in 2012. A large area on the beach front at the edge of the mangrove cracked open, felling trees on the beach inside the mangrove.
If the island fails to seal the area, it may cause further damage, the council noted.
The Fiyori mangrove is included in the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) list of ‘environmentally sensitive areas’ – which are not yet officially protected.
Mangroves and wetlands around the country are also being damaged due to development projects. Mangroves areas on two islands, Kulhudhufushi and Farukolhu are to be reclaimed for airport development, despite criticism from environmental organizations.