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Maldives sustainable surfing regulates access to waves

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Travel Updates

Thanburudhoo releases surf boundary information for 2014 season

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 31 January, 2014 -- In anticipation of the upcoming surf season in North Male Atoll and in succession with previous press releases, TPL has announced the following items to the surf travel community.

Mooring buoys have been implemented at Thanburudhoo Island for those groups which have licensed agreements to access the waves.

So as to keep the reef from further damage and to clearly designate those with licensed access to Thanburudhoo, the mooring buoys are only available for the Four Seasons surf dhoni (4 surfers maximum), the Atoll Adventures surf dhoni from Chaaya Island Dhonveli and the tenders of the two authorized Safari boats.

These are the only boats with licensed access to be at Thanburudhoo and the only means of transportation available to non- Maldivian surfers accessing the breaks of Sultans and Honky’s.

The exclusive boundary area of the island has been surveyed by certified surveyors and accepted by the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture (MOTAC). The entirety of the surfing waves fall well within the exclusive boundary of the island as stipulated by Maldives regulations.

Furthermore, no anchoring of any boat in the channel between the islands of Girifushi & Thanburudhoo and Thanburudhoo & Kanuhura (Chaaya Island Dhonveli) is permitted without the permission of MNDF, TPL or Chaaya Island Dhonveli for the exclusive boundaries of those islands overlap.

MOTAC has provided a contractually binding agreement, consistent with the Tourism Act and the Boundary Regulation of 2012, through which MOTAC has granted to TPL, in clear and unambiguous terms, the exclusive use of the area for surfing.

These agreements and other related documents can be viewed through appointment with our solicitors, Messrs. Suood & Anwar LLP (Malé, Republic of Maldives). Since August 2012 these agreements have been in effect; however, TPL allowed free access for the remainder of 2012 and the entirety of 2013 as an adjustment period for the North Male surf community.

The Thanburudhoo Operational Team has been selected and trained in conjunction with local authorities who have instructed on the protocol and appropriate procedures in the event that any non-licensed entity fails to respect the legal boundaries of Thanburudhoo Island.

Despite clear statements and press releases by TPL during 2013 that the 2014 surf season would occur through a managed system for licensed groups, there are currently a small number of surf travel agents who are incorrectly advertising access to the waves at Thanburudhoo Island.

It is not in the interest of any agent’s clients or in any agent’s legal interest for any misrepresentation of the right of access to surf Sultans and Honky’s to occur. For the avoidance of doubt, any foreign surfers coming to Thanburudhoo by any means other than through the licensed agents of TPL will be denied access.

In the same manner all resorts enjoy the sanctity of space provided through boundary regulations by the government of the Republic of Maldives, TPL respects the surfing exclusivity and surf management programs of Adaaran Select-Hudhuran Fushi; Club Med Kani, Chaaya Island Dhonveli; Full Moon Sheraton; and Holiday Inn Kandooma.

Finally, TPL reiterates its commitment to Maldivian surfers in that during the construction of the resort Maldivian surfers have open access to the waves at Thanburudhoo Island. Upon the resort’s opening, a managed daily access program for both local and foreign surfers will be implemented.

Author: 
The Editors
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