Parliament accepts emergency motion over lack of fair price for fishermen’s catch

Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam. (File Photo/People's Majlis)

The Parliament on Monday accepted an emergency motion submitted by PPM deputy leader calling on the government to lift controls on quantity of fish purchased from fishermen and ensure a fair price for their catch.

Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam’s motion was accepted for debate with the vote of 25-4. One parliamentarian abstained.

Presenting his motion, Shiyam expressed concern over controls on quantity of fish purchased from fishermen, given the good spell of fishing in Maldives.

Shiyam said that fishermen had to wait in queue for days to sell the fish they catch by driving their boats across the ocean in the blazing sun.

“The fact that some boats aren’t able to get price for 90 percent of their catch and have to distribute it. And because they can’t purchase ice for a fair price. The fishermen are in despair, waiting for days and nights in ice queues, fuel queues and fish queues,” he said.

Shiyam noted that offering a fair price for fishermen’s catch had been a key component of the current administration’s manifesto.

But the pledge remains unfulfilled four years into the administration, he said.

Shiyam said the Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) had gone bankrupt, and is unable to provide services to fishermen – leaving them desolate.

He called on the government to take immediate action to ensure a fair price for the catch of fishermen.

Maldives is currently experiencing a good spell of fishing in northern and southern regions, leading to increased pressure on Kooddoo and Maandhoo, and forcing Maandhoo to limit its purchases.

Some fishing boats have had to dump tons of fish back into the ocean, unable to sell their catch.

MIFCO has stated it is working on procuring an additional vessel to increase the company’s capacity to weigh fish.