Number of foreigners allowed on fishing vessels increased

Pole and line fishermen land skip jack tuna in the Maldives. Pole and line fishing is a selective, sustainable and equitable method of catching tuna. | Photo: Fisheries Ministry

Malé, Maldives – The number of foreigners allowed to work in fishing vessels has been increased by the government.

The Fisheries Ministry yesterday amended the Rules on Planning, Conducting and Managing Sea Fisheries to allow foreigners to fish. Under the new rules, the number of foreigners allowed to be kept has been determined according to the size of the vessel.

The rules previously prohibited foreigners from engaging in direct fishing in any fishing vessel within the scope of the rules. Among the fishing vessels covered by the rules, it was stated that a maximum of two foreign nationals may be employed in a vessel to provide security and cook for the crew.

With the amendment to the rules;

  • Maximum of four foreigners in vehicles smaller than 15 metres
  • Maximum of six foreigners in vessels between 15 meters and 24 metres
  • Maximum of eight foreigners in vessels larger than 24 metres

Foreigners can engage in fishing in accordance with the rules and regulations made by the relevant government agencies. The foreigner must have an unexpired work permit.

At the same time, the foreigners working in the work are must be paid salaries and allowances as per the Employment Act.

Foreigners have been prohibited from doing the work directly because the industry will become more foreign.