President Nasheed has said facilitating the work of fishermen was essential in order to sustain democracy in the Maldives. The President made this statement during a meeting held with senior members of the Fishermen’s Union. The meeting was held this afternoon at the President’s Office.

Speaking at the meeting, President of the Union Mr Ibrahim Umar alleged that some of the foreign groups licensed to do long line fishing in Maldivian seas, exploited our waters. He also said some of the exporters of fish unfairly controlled prices.

Further, he said another difficulty faced by fishermen was the uneven prices of ice available from different regions of the country. Noting that fuel, water, ice, and other fishing equipment could not be obtained from a particular region, Mr Umar said harbour difficulties were a major issue especially for people involved in the fisheries of yellow fin tuna.

After hearing the concerns of fishermen, President Nasheed said the government would review the licences issued by the previous government to do fishing in the Maldives’ Exclusive Economic Zone. President also said he would establish a commission to ensure fair trade prices.

Furthermore, the President said the government would facilitate a mechanism in Hulhumale’, from which fishermen could obtain fishing equipments and other necessary services.
He also said he would try to find other ways for fishermen to store their fish and sell their catch at good prices.

President Nasheed today, also appointed Special Envoy of the President Mr Ibrahim Hussain Zaki to oversee, on behalf of the President’s Office, the concerns of the fishermen’s Union.