Republic of Maldives, is a South Asian island country, located in the Indian Ocean. It lies 700 km to southwest of Sri Lanka. It is a chain of 26 atolls, consisting of 1,192 coral islands that rise above sea level only by a little: the highest point of the archipelago — on the southern atoll of Addu (Siena) — only 2.4 m. Because of this the Maldives is known as the very low-lying state.
The Maldives have a range of different habitats. There are 187 species of coral forming the coral reefs. This area of the Indian Ocean, alone, houses 1100 species of fish, 5 species of sea turtle, 21 species of whale and dolphin, 400 species of mollusc, and 83 species of echinoderms. The area is also populated by more than 145 crab species and 48 shrimp species.