Fisheries Ministry warns locals against unlawful FAD installation

FADs locally known as Oevaali Kandhufathi | Photo: MRC

Malé, Maldives – Fisheries Ministry on Wednesday warned locals against the installation and modification of FADs in the Maldives EEZ.

In a circular released by the Fisheries Ministry, the Ministry refers to the General Fisheries Regulation of the Maldives (Regulation No: 2020/R-77) which states that any kind of FAD shall be installed in the Maldives sea with the permission of the Fisheries Ministry and the position of all FADs must be available on the Ministry website.

The Fishing Aggregation Devices in the form of buoys that are polyethylene foam floats usually laminated with fibreglass provide ease for fishermen by marking areas for pole-and-line fishing; 2016 statistics show that 90 percent of Maldivian fish catch are from near these areas.

The regulation further states that the destruction or modification of FADs installed per regulation is a punishable offence. According to article 17 of fisheries regulation, using of live bait trolling, handline are not allowed within the limit of 3 nautical mile radius around AFADs restricting the access of AFAD to only pole and line fishery.

The Fisheries Ministry states that locals have been installing their own FADs or modifying existing ones and warned against these actions under Article 21 of the General Fisheries Regulation. The Ministry states that fines will be imposed on any such parties.