Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture has upped efforts to monitor, regulate and enforce fishing regulations to stop recreational fishermen from using illegal drop-line fishing techniques within the radius of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs).
FADs were specifically installed for pole and line fishing. Additionally, the Ministry highlighted an increase of small vessels that conduct these illegal fishing activities.
According to fisheries regulations, It is prohibited to use drop-line and trolling techniques to fish within a radius of three miles from the FAD.
Fisheries Ministry stated that Police and Coast Guard have started to enforce said regulations.
According to the Ministry, there have been complaints filed in regards to illegal fishing surrounding the FADs.
There is a network of 55 FADs in Maldives. The government bears huge costs in maintaining the network.
Furthermore, the Ministry stated that fish populations will be negatively affected should people conduct illegal fishing activities at such locations.
The FAD Implantation Section of the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture was established back in 1981 with a mandate to conduct experimental fisheries development programmes. This initiative proved to be an extremely instrumental and effective way of easing fish capture through aggregation of large quantities of fish into prescribed areas where artificial floating objects were placed.