President ratifies Fisheries Bill

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. (File Photo/President's Office)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has ratified the fisheries bill passed by the Parliament with major revisions this September.

The fisheries bill was passed with the unanimous consensus of 55 lawmakers on September 5.

The bill instructs the Fisheries Ministry to set up a register of information on all local fishermen, fishing crew, fishing boats and owners of fishing boats within 100 days of its enactment.

It lays the framework to categorize methods of fishing, establish fisheries management plans, establish methods of fishing banned within Maldives, and establish policies to develop aquaculture.

It also lays the framework to assure social protection and pension for fishermen, facilitate education and training in fisheries, expand boatbuilding, reduce the impact of changing weather conditions on fisheries, and action plans to protect islands and sandbanks which is a natural habitat for birds used to detect schools of fish.

The bill most significantly lays the framework for fish processing factories and neighborhood fish factories and ice plants at residential islands.

The enactment of the new fisheries bill this Monday means the previous fisheries act is no longer in effect.

The fisheries bill was drafted by the Attorney General’s Office with technical assistance from World Health Organization (WHO) and Fisheries Ministry. The bill was passed with major revisions in light of concerns raised by local fishermen, lawmakers, and members of the general public.