Amongst the factors that make the Maldives such a popular destination for snorkeling and diving is its amazing coral reefs, and here’s more on this marine treasure.
How Are They Formed?
Tiny organisms known as polyps, which are invertebrates, secrete a limestone skeleton that forms a protective base; it’s this that provides the framework for the reef when millions of polyps come together to form colonies that over time sees the creation of a living structure that is a vital part of the ocean ecosystem.
Where to See Them
At this destination, reefs are easy to find and explore, sometimes just a little away from the shore of private island luxury villas! Maldives coral reefs are in abundance at various atolls such as the Lhaviyani Atoll; here, you can stay at all-inclusive resorts like Atmosphere Kanifushi and enjoy snorkeling at reef sites such as the Kanifushi Outer Reef, Bodu Giri, Sulas Garden and the Vavvaru Inside Reef.
Coral & Marine Life
Reefs feature diverse coral types of all shapes, sizes, and colours; some of the corals in Maldives you may see include staghorn, brain, star, carnation and tree coral, and sea fans. Reefs also sustain various marine life and are where one can observe damselfish, angelfish, triggerfish, batfish and clownfish as well as larger species like turtles, rays and sharks.
The Importance of Reefs
Surprising but true, coral reefs make up less than one percent of the ocean yet provide about 25% of the marine life in the world with a home! Integral to maintaining the marine ecosystem, the reefs also play an important role of being barriers for the low-lying islands of the Maldives, protecting them from coastal erosion and damage from the waves.