Foreign employment in fishing vessels permitted

Photo shows a Maldivian fishing boat at sea.

The government of the Maldives has allowed foreigners to take part in fishing activity onboard fishing vessels in the Maldives. 

The Fisheries Ministry stated in a press release that discussions had been undertaken with stakeholders over the involvement of undocumented expatriates in fishing activities where the stakeholders expressed difficulty in finding locals for certain work. 

Undocumented expatriates often take part in fishing activities in the Maldives even now. The Ministry said that the involvement led foreign retailers to have a bad impression of the Maldivian fisheries industry and concern over the practice. 

The Ministry said that it had now decided to permit the involvement of foreigners in certain fishing-related activity, with the exception of fishing, under certain restrictions for the benefit of the entire industry. 

And so, under section 13 of the General Regulation formed under the Fisheries Act, the Ministry was now allowing the employment of two work permit holding foreigners under government policies on each fishing vessel. The two employees are restricted to cooking and maintenance activities such as cleaning. The workers can only be employed by vessels with specific licenses such as export to foreign sources and licenses to supply fish to exporters and are pole-line fishing or  Bluefin Tuna fishing. 

The Ministry said in the press release that it would work to maintain the true nature of the Maldivian fishing industry since it was of cultural importance which was a marketing opportunity. 

The Ministry also advised vessels to ensure that foreign employees of vessels are regulated and have the proper required documents.