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Govt to facilitate water cooling system installation in fishing vessels through loan

Mohamed Rehan
17 November 2022, MVT 11:27
Fisherman aboard a vessel catching skipjack tuna. PHOTO: Gemanafushi Masverin
Mohamed Rehan
17 November 2022, MVT 11:27

Maldives government will be moving ahead with a plan to issue grants through SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC) to install RSW or water cooling systems and solar power systems in 200 vessels to keep tuna catch fresh.

The Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) funded program aims to ensure local fishermen can keep their fresh catch without getting spoilt for longer. This initiative is also in line with the government's new economic policy on tackling difficulties faced in the local fisheries industry.

Benefits under the grant scheme

- Installation of RSW or water cooling system in the lower-deck of fishing vessels

- Installation of solar power systems in vessels to harness renewable energy to power the boats

The grant is run as a collaborative effort by Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture and Ministry of Economic Development. The program will run under two distinct phases, with each phase targeted for 100 vessels.

First phase of the program will run throughout the remainder of the current year and in 2023. Participation in the program has been officially opened on Monday, November 14 and will be effective until December 31. Interested parties should send filled application to SDFC's online portal (

Eligibility criteria

- A licensed fishing vessel

- Vessel should currently be used exclusively for fishing purposes

- Vessel should exceed 50 feet in length, and must be able to store a minimum of 15 tons of fish

- The vessel must have sufficient lower-deck area to install the water cooling system

Applicants that already have ongoing or pending loan payments will be reviewed against their payment conduct for their respective loan facilities.

The loan issuance will be held under two separate stages. Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture will review the applications and cross-check the information against the vessels to see what type of systems it require. Second stage will involve assessment of technical specifications of the vessels.

Under the second stage, applicants will be provided opportunity to select their preferred supplier from which it will acquire the cooling systems. The suppliers will all be listed businesses with SDFC.

Financing facilities will be arranged based upon the cooling system selected.