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Opposition bashes government's resolutions for fisheries sector

Shahudha Mohamed
29 July 2019, MVT 22:40
PEOPLE'S MAJILIS COMMITTEE GAVAIDHU ISLAAHU KURAA COMMITTEE / shiyam siyam
Shahudha Mohamed
29 July 2019, MVT 22:40

Vice President of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam, in Monday's parliament session, heavily criticised the five resolutions proposed by the incumbent administration for the development of fisheries sector.

Among the five resolutions are creating 'neighbourhood fish factories', establishing 'fishing hubs for yellow fin tuna', prohibiting net fishing in the Indian Ocean, permitting foreign vessels to purchase the catch from local fishermen, and banning foreign vessels from fishing in Maldivian waters.

Debating on the resolution of establishing 'fishing hubs for yellowfin tuna' submitted to parliament by Maafannu Central MP Ibrahim Rasheed, Shiyam claimed that the resolutions do not outline a solution to improve current situation of fishermen.

He further accused the government of proposing resolutions for political gain, without conducting proper research into the average fisherman's struggle.

"Even if we raise our voices and advocate in parliament for political reasons, problems cannot be solved if we do not recognise the root causes of it", Shiyam declared, urging the government to solve the real problems faced by fishermen.

He asserted that the ruling party was unfamiliar with fishing techniques, heavily criticising how members of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) described the 'neighbourhood fish factories' and 'yellowfin tuna hubs'.

He further declared that there was no purpose for any of the resolutions, claiming that offshore platforms will develop into future brothels and spas.

"Fishermen do not want to operate brothels", he insisted.

MDP members, however, believe that 'yellowfin tuna hubs' can be developed with ice and fuel available on site. Moreover, some MPs speculated that coffee shops, restaurants and rooms can also be built along with the platforms to provide a resting spot for fishermen.

According to Shiyam, increasing the capacity of current resources is the surest way of assuring fishermen receive the fair market price.

Additionally, Shiyam suggested expanding the capacity of the fish factory in Felivaru, Lhaviyani Atoll, would be a better alternative to spending MVR 600 million to build platforms in the middle of the ocean.

Highlighting that the biggest concern of fishermen is not having enough options to weigh their catch of the day, Shiyam questioned why we must move forward without solving these issues.

Although Shiyam equated the resolutions to a reverie, MDP members affirmed that the resolutions were proposed after conducting proper research and will be a beneficial plan for fishermen.

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