The Republic of Maldives is a small island nation located in the Indian Ocean southwest of Sri Lanka. It consists of some 26 major atolls and 1,190 tiny islands lying at the equator (see map below). Of these islands, only 33 have an area greater than one square kilometer. The total land area is less than 300 square kilometer. Maldives is a country with more territorial sea than land. The population is about 300,000 and is highly concentrated on relatively few islands. The atolls are ringed by coral reefs that are the seventh largest in the world and among the richest in terms of species diversity and aesthetic appeal. The reefs host over 1,900 species of fish, 187 coral species, and 350 crustaceans.