About Baa Atoll
Baa Atoll lies to the northwest of Male’, and has a total area of approximately 1,200 km2. The atoll is comprised of seventy-five islands; thirteen of these are inhabited with a combined population of approximately 11,000 people. Six islands have been developed as resorts; the remaining 57 islands are uninhabited. Whilst resorts have become the main economic driver, tuna and reef fishing remains an important activity. Production of handicrafts and other materials for the tourist industry is also significant.
Baa Atoll harbours globally significant biodiversity including significant concentrations of whale sharks and manta rays and also a unique diversity of benthic fauna, including rare pink hydrozoan corals (Distichopora nitida), Bryozoans (Bugula) and sea slugs (Tambja olivaria) that are only recorded from Baa atoll. Baa has a particularly high density of the ring-shaped reef forms called faroes, a peculiar reef structure unique to the Maldives, as well as other unique reef forms. Baa Atoll also has one of the largest areas of mangroves in the central part of the Maldivian atoll chain, and one of only two roosting sites in the Maldives for the frigate bird.