President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih submitted a new fisheries bill to the parliament on Tuesday.
According to the bill, the government will no longer issue fishing licenses to foreign fishing vessels. This is to achieve the presidential pledge to ensure that the Maldives’ waters and Exclusive Economic Zone yield the most amount of benefit to Maldivian citizens.
In addition to this, the bill states that any vessels who engage in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing will be subject to harsh punitive measures and fines.
According to the statement released by the President’s Office, the bill was drafted according to the input of locals in the field.
If the bill was passed, the methi=ods used t catch fish will be limited to pole and line fishing and hand-line fishing. Other harmful methods such as trawl net fishing will be banned. Also to ensure that the fisherman is paid a fair wage while protecting consumer right, prices will be set Fisheries Ministry.
Moreover, the statement reads that the government will also set up fish processing facilities to add value to fisheries products, set up fish plants and take steps that remove impediments to the fisheries market.
Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has submitted five resolutions on fisheries to the parliament so far. While four out of the five resolutions have been accepted by the parliament, the remaining bill is still in the preliminary debate stage.