Weaving a Net of Hope in the Maldives: The Challenge of Ghost Gear

The blue skies, white sand, and iridescent waters of The Maldives paint a picture of paradise that’s in stark contrast with an issue lurking beneath the waves—the abundance of ghost nets threatening marine life.

Nihaad Ibrahim, our local partner from the Maldives, shares harrowing footage that brings us face-to-face with this invisible menace: fishing nets abandoned in the ocean, continuing to capture and kill long after they are lost. These ‘ghost nets’ are an ecological disaster, entrapping a wide array of marine creatures and smothering coral reefs.

2024 marks a significant year for our organisation as we fortify our presence by officially registering Big Blue Foundation in the Maldives. It’s a move fuelled by our commitment to protect marine ecosystems and strengthen the economic resilience of local communities.

Our Maldives Conservation Technology project is at the forefront of our crusade against ghost nets. Here’s how we’re making waves:

  • Remote Surveillance and Clean-Up: Our focus lies in the deployment of advanced drone technologies. It allows us to identify and, made possible with local partners, retrieve these perilous nets swiftly, restoring safety to marine life.
  • Empowering Local Hands: We aim to provide employment to local people, empowering them to become custodians of their environment. Employment through conservation means a robust local workforce dedicated to the long-term health of their ocean.
  • Sustainable Collaborations: Maintenance of our oceans is a collaborative mission. We’re proud to partner with organisations like Waterhaul in the UK, who stand with us in giving these nets a new lease on life by transforming them into recycled products. This ensures that our efforts in retrieving the nets continue to benefit the planet even after their removal.

Our message is clear: each net removed is a step towards a more hopeful future. Safer seas and flourishing marine life are within our reach, as we tell our story of resilience, recovery, and renewal.

Join us. Your support, whether through volunteering, donations, or simply sharing our story, turns the tide towards conservation and nurtures the natural beauty that defines the Maldives.

✨ Together, we can clear the path for a vibrant marine future. 🌊🐬