The cabinet has decided not to issue more licences for fishing within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Maldives, pending a review and investigation of the matter. The cabinet made this decision at a cabinet meeting held at the President’s Office this afternoon.

Licenses for fishing in the EEZ of the Maldives are issued under Article 6 of the Fisheries Act of the Maldives.

The government has been receiving complaints about the negative impact on Maldivian fishermen because of fishing in the EEZ under these licenses. The Fishermen’s Union had also raised the matter with President Nasheed during a meeting on 12th of this month.

At today’s meeting, the cabinet decided to review the guidelines for fishing in the EEZ; investigate if fishing in the country’s EEZ has any negative effect on Maldivian fisheries industry; find out the reasons for the decrease in fish stock; and, to investigate if fishing in the EEZ is a causal factor for the decrease.

Also, the cabinet decided to investigate whether the parties issued with licenses for fishing in the EEZ are abiding by the agreements and give them a grace period of 10 days.