President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has on Monday ratified the new Fisheries Bill.
The Maldives Fisheries Bill was initially submitted to the People’s Majlis for consideration on 30 July and passed on 5 September at the 47th sitting of the parliament.
Aiming to yield paramount benefit from the industry to the people, the act will promote the sustainable forms of fishing practices by local fishermen such as hand-line and pole and line and imposes a ban on harmful methods such as trawl net fishing.
Further, the act shall ensure fishermen receive the best available prices for their catch through a regulated pricing system, revealed the President’s Office.
Crafted with the involvement and contribution from local fishermen and industry leaders, the act will in turn facilitate the progress of the fishing industry and encompassed the formulation of effective management plans that reflect Maldivian fishermen to help their fisheries targets.
The Fisheries Bill covers “several measures and regulations” that the community is sure to benefit from.
It reflects the government’s policy of investing its resources in the fishing community, and ensured better opportunities are paves through engagements on a “national scale”.
Said policies will ensure opportunities equal to other sectors, including social protection through pension and education. It further includes training opportunities.
Formulated with special consideration towards the value of the sector as one of the key policy areas of the government, the act includes economic value and close identification with the country’s traditions and culture.
Further, the bill states that strict “punitive measures and fines” will be taken against foreign vessels caught engaging in illicit activities in Maldives waters, banning the engagement in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the territory.
It will govern the Maldivian waters and effectively ensure proper regulation and management of banned fishing activities within the territory.
While improving the fisheries sector is one of the President’s pledges, the administration is to set up fish processing facilities and fish plants to add value to products as well as take steps to tackle obstacles to the fisheries market.