The European Union delegation has concluded their two-day official mission in the Maldives.
The delegation was in Maldives from 23 – 25 February to in order to assess the country’s implementation of the EU regulation to deter Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and comment on ways to reinforce the regulation in Maldives.
This is the fourth time an EU team has conducted a mission in the Maldives since 2015 and it aims to prevent illegally fished products from ending up in the EU markets.
The Ministry of Fisheries Marine Resources and Agriculture revealed that the purpose of the delegation’s trip was to bring an end to the illegal fishing practices in Maldives, under the EU regulation to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported, unregulated Fishing. Some of the violations noted by EU include illegally exchanging the catch as well as the crew between vessels and the fishing of yellow-fin tuna which are mandated by law to be caught only through pole-and-line fishing.
During the technical evaluation, the country’s efforts to bolster fishing frameworks and collect date on fish populations, were noted. The team went on to recognize the government’s noticeable priority to enforce regulations on a policy level, with the inclusion of the ratification of the Maldives Fisheries Bill during last year.
In the mission’s findings, the team emphasized on the progress of the “Fisheries Information System”.
Earlier this week, the Ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) alongside Maldives Customs Service under the “National Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (NPOA-IUU)” under which trainings were to be carried out to inspect foreign fishing vessels and those exporting Maldives fish products to foreign countries.
The Fisheries Minister, Zaha Waheed earlier stressed that the relations between Maldives and EU have deteriorated due to the illegal practice.
During 2019, EU warned Maldives that the ongoing illegal practice will result in a Europe-wide ban on the imports of Maldivian fish products.
Earlier, the ministry began monitoring fishing vessels through tracking devices installed in all vessels used for fishing, whim also has electronic observer systems.