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Fisheries sector in the Maldives

Fishing provides the livelihood for many people in the Maldives. Fisheries sector is the second largest industry in the Maldives. It has an indirect link to tourism sector as resorts demand a constant supply of fish for their guest and employees.

Fishing in Maldives is still practiced using traditional techniques. Pole and lines are used for catching fish. This is believed to be a more sustainable and dolphin friendly method. Fisheries sector provides most of the employment for dispersed island communities. Most of the fishing boats are owned by local boat owners. Fishing is still largely practiced as a family business.

A fishing boat in the Gulhi Lagoon
A fishing boat in the Gulhi Lagoon ' - Photo by © Niyaz

In fisheries sector fish processing and exporting to other countries is a vital part where large investment is required. Till 2000 government of Maldives had a tight control on the sector only MIFCO the government owned company was allowed to invest in fish processing and buying of fresh fish at large scale for export.

Since the sector was open for private investments few companies have started investing in this sector. Ministry of Fisheries, Agriculture and Marine Resources have separated the country into four different fishing zones. Ten year licences are been issued to the companies which had invested in these sector. At present the investment is mostly owned by local companies.

Yellow fin tuna fishery in exclusive economic zone of the country is open to foreign companies. Many foreign vessels under a licence, fish in the Maldivian water. Fisheries industry is a potential sector which can be explored for business ventures.

Fisheries Act 1987
The Fisheries Act is called the “The Fisheries Law of Maldives”. This Act is the basis for formulation of fisheries regulations and fisheries management and development in the Maldives.



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