Waterland, the Sea of Maldives

A diver looks into an underwater swim through filled with red soft corals and encrusting organisms.

A topside view of a shallow lagoon. The Republic of Maldives is geographically composed of thousands of small islands and lagoons, which are formed by coral growth atop a submarine ridge in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

A marbled whipray, Taeniurops meyeni a large ray species, which can be often encountered in the reef of the Maldives.

A large colony of staghorn coral, Acropora sp. with a school of reef fishes in the crystal clear water of the Maldives, which attracts travelers from all over the World, thus making tourism the largest economic industry of the nation.

Maldive Anemonefish, Amphiprion nigripes an endemic species of the sea of Maldives lives among the stinging tentacles of Magnificent Sea Anemone, Heteractis magnifica, forming a symbiotic relationship.

A female traveler swims in a seagrass bed, a productive coastal marine ecosystem, while the locals observe from the pier during sunset.

Indian mackerels, Rastrelliger kanagurta, an important food fish species of the Maldives form a large school and feed on planktons attracted by the light at the water surface during the night.

Silvertip shark, Carcharhinus albimarginatus, a large Carcharhinid species, which suffered massive population declines globally, swims in the blue water of the Maldivian sea. With the implementation of shark fishing ban in the territorial water, the Maldives boasts a considerably healthy shark population, which has become attractions to divers.

A degraded coral reefs in the shallow water atop of a lagoon in Ari Atoll, a reminder of the massive coral bleaching event in 1998, which killed 95 percent coral of the nation.

A SCUBA diver with Kudi Maa wreck at Machachafushi island, a vessal that was intentionally sank to be used as an artificial reef and an alternative dive site in the Ari Atoll.

A local fishing boat in the open sea at sunset. Fishing industry has been one of the primary industries of the Maldives, along with tourism, which are nurtured by the abundance of marine life from productive marine ecosystems of the nation.

A pair of reef manta ray, Manta alfredi swims to feed on plankton attracted by the light at the water surface in the night, while a travelers dip a camera into the water to take pictures.

World-renowned for its white powdery sand and clear turquoise sea, the marine ecosystems of the Maldives boast a remarkable biodiversity and abundance of marine life in the middle of the Indian Ocean, supporting the economy of the nation.