MDP leader urges state clear outstanding pay to fishers

MDP President and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid: the opposition party leader called government to clear outstanding pay to local fishers -- Sun Photo

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leader Abdulla Shahid has called to the state to clear the outstanding pay to local fishers, whether an election was looming or not.

The yellowfin fishers’ union on Wednesday, has launched protests in Male’ region and GDh. Madaveli calling the Maldives government to fulfill its pledges towards the fishers.

Shahid, in a post on X, said the overdue payments to fishers was their right, and urged the government to clear its financial obligations to local fishers.

The MDP leader also said the state failed to settle outstanding payments to fishers earlier this year, which resulted in protests by fishers. Shahid added that the state only moved ahead to pay the outstanding amounts just ahead of the parliamentary elections.

Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) on Tuesday reported an overdue unpaid total of MVR 80 million to fishers still. The company added it was trying to pay the pending amount soon.

“Though there is no impending election ahead, we urge the government to clear the overdue payments it owed to local fishers, which is their right,” Shahid commented.

While the current government inherited a significant debt owed towards fishers, President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu-led administration promised to clear the outstanding amount not exceeding two months – which Shahid reminded in his post.

The protests in Male’ area, more specifically at the Hulhumale’ fishers’ jetty, and in GD. Madaveli are led by the yellowfin tuna fishers’ union – and saw participation of a large number of fishers.

The fishers in these protests said they were against the government’s decision to green light longline fishing for yellowfin tuna. They have also urged MIFCO to commence purchasing yellowfin tuna as per the state’s pledges as well.