55 percent local employees’ compulsory for neighborhood fish factories

A fisherman cuts up a fish for a customer. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

Economic Affairs Committee of Parliament has made a legislative amendment to the Fisheries Bill designed to make it compulsory for neighborhood fish factories which will be established under the bill to have locals as at least 55 percent of the total employees.

The original Fisheries Bill, though it makes mention of the establishment of neighborhood fish factories, did not provide much details regarding the fish factories.

The Economic Affairs Committee, during its evaluation of the bill, has made major amendments to the bill in the way of detailing it.

Fisheries Bill establishes that locals may be issued permits to run neighborhood fish factories and industrial-level fish processing factories at residential islands.

It also establishes that neighborhood fish factories must be ranked based on capacity.


  • Factories which have the capacity to process less than five tons of fish per day.
  • Factories which have the capacity to process five to 10 tons of fish per day.
  • Factories which have the capacity to process over 10 tons of fish per day.

The bill also establishes additional requirements which must be taken into consideration when issuing permits for neighborhood factories; energy usage, water usage, number of employees, capital expenditure, and recurrent expenditure.

The bill empowers local and city councils to issue land for neighborhood fish factories in accordance with land usage plans of the islands.

Meanwhile, the Fisheries Ministry is charged with establishing standards for hygiene at the factories, and inspection of fish factories to ensure hygiene standards are met.

The sale of products produced at neighborhood fish factories require a separate permit from the Economic Development Ministry.

The Economic Affairs Committee has completed its evaluation of the Fisheries Bill, and has forwarded it for perusal of the general parliamentary assembly.