Maalhaveli, Meemu Atoll
The 33 islands of Meemu Atoll are set like pearls on a necklace circling the turquoise waters of the inner lagoon. Nine of the islands are populated and home to around 6500 inhabitants. Maalhaveli is a small island on the eastern side of the atoll’s string of islets fringed by shallow coral reef. On both the eastern and western sides of the atoll there are deep channels pumping water in and out with each tide, while sweeping in plankton-rich waters. The plankton feeds colorful soft corals and attracts large pelagic planktivores including whale sharks, manta rays and eagle rays.