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Marine Development and Socio-Economic Conflicts (Internal and External) of the Maldives

Sathiendrakumar, R. and Tisdell, C.A. (1988) Marine Development and Socio-Economic Conflicts (Internal and External) of the Maldives. Murdoch University, Perth, Australia.

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The Republic of Maldives is an archipelago consisting of 26 coral atolls, situated in the lndian Oecan, south-west of India. Its closest neighbour is India, which lies 595 km from the northern most atoll and the next closest is Sri Lanka, which is 670 km from the capital Male. The twenty-six coral atolls contain about 1,190 very small islands of which only 203 are inhabited. The longest island Gan, in Addu atoll, is about 7.2 km long. Male, the capital, occupies an island about 1.6 km long on the eastern side of Hale atoll. The total land area is only 298 square km, even though the area covered by the Republic is 90,000 square km. Because of this limited land mass and because of its lack of mineral and oil reserves and because of the fact that the agricultural potential is limited due to the alkaline nature of the soil, its poor water retention capacity and its lack of nitrogen, (Butany, 1976), the Maldives has a narrow resource base (Sathiendrakumar and Tisdell, 1985). Its main natural resources consist of fisheries and a marine environment conducive to international tourism. In general, the opportunities for alternative employment in coral based island economies are quite limited (Tisdell and Fairbairn, 1983). Thus the main prospect for economic development of Maldives lies in the possibility of exploiting the economic potential of its marine resources.

Item Type: Working Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Commerce
Series Name: Economics Programme Working Papers No. 12
Publisher: Murdoch University
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