Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture announced on Sunday the release of ten sets of vertical longline gear for diamondback squid fishing, after the determination of related criteria.
According to the ministry, interested individuals who have a fishing vessel registered or leased under their name can notify the ministry until January 31. The fisheries ministry has decided to grant priority to younger fishermen.
Interested individuals must pay for the gear in installments of MVR 4,446.77 per month. The total cost of a complete set of gear amount to MVR 249,018.73.
Assistant Director of the Fisheries Ministry Abdulla Jaufar attributed these high prices to the fact that the gear are electrically operated.
The gear consist of jigs with lines attached to them. The lines have lights to attract diamondback squids, which are known to follow light sources.
According to Jaufar, it is possible to catch diamondback squids in depths of 2,000 metres using lines measuring 500 metres. Jaufar explained that the lines needed to be electrically reeled in due to their considerable length.
A complete set of vertical longline gear is currently displayed at the Fisheries Ministry Center in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale’.
Additionally, the fisheries ministry will carry out education programmes regarding diamondback squid fishing, for people who are issued the equipment.
Introduction of squid fishing in Maldives was one of the electoral pledges made by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. The deadline for the pledge was December 31, 2018, excluding public holidays.