Maldives is being penalized for sustainable fishing: HC Farah Faizal to the UK

Sustainable pole and line tuna fishing in the Maldives | Photo: ATUNA

United Kingdom – High Commissioner of Maldives to UK Dr Farah Faizal today stated that the UK is penalizing Maldives for 2,000 year old sustainable fishery practices by imposing remarkably high tariffs to access the UK market.

High Commissioner Faizal said this while speaking at the “Restoring Our Blue Planet” panel organized by the Conservative Environment Network of the UK.

Following UK’s departure from the European Union (EU), which was finalized on 31 December 2020, Maldives was imposed with a tariff of 20 percent in the UK market. Maldives is the only Small Island Development State (SIDS) that has to pay a tariff while all other Commonwealth SIDS have zero tariffs on their tuna exports.

Highlighting this Dr Faizal called on countries to walk the talk when it comes to sustainable fishing and protecting the oceans.

For 2,000 years, we [the Maldives] have fished one by one and we are being penalized.

HC Farah Faizal to UK

Originally tweeted by Shafeea Zubair on October 4, 2021.

Dr Faizal has previously stated that countries that produce sustainable products shouldn’t be penalized; they should be supported.

“Unfortunately, that’s what’s happening at the moment – they are penalizing us for fishing sustainably, while fishers from other countries, using less-sustainable methods, are not being taxed. That’s certainly what it looks like from the perspective of the Maldives, and especially Maldivian fishermen,” said Dr Faizal in June 2021.

Pole and line fishing, originated in the Maldives, is praised internationally as a highly responsible and sustainable fishing technique with very little bycatch as the fish, skipjack and yellowfin tuna, are caught one by one. This method of fishing causes minimal damage to marine ecosystems, unlike some other destructive methods.

Meanwhile, Maldives is currently in talks with the EU to execute tariff exemptions for Maldivian fish exports to EU countries.