Faresmaathodaa, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih reaffirmed on Sunday the administration’s commitment to resolve at the earliest possible time the challenges facing the fishermen of Huvadhu Atoll.
He made the statement while speaking at the official function held on Faresmaathodaa Island in the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll to mark the 42nd Fishermen’s Day.
Earlier on Sunday, the President met with the fishing community on Faresmaathodaa Island and inquired about their needs. Reflecting on the discussions at the meeting, the President noted difficulties in selling catch, acquiring fuel, and costs associated with travelling to fish collection points as some of the main issues facing the fisherfolk of Huvadhu Atoll. The President assured that the administration is working towards addressing these issues as soon as possible.
The President also outlined some of these measures undertaken by the administration. He revealed plans to dedicate 270 tonne storage capacity and 120 tonne brine freezing capacity to Huvadhu Atoll next year. To address the issues related to fuel, the President stated that arrangements are being made to supply fuel at low costs and on credit through Fuel Supplies Maldives (FSM).
The President also spoke about the administration’s plans to expand storage and fish processing capacity across the country. He noted ongoing projects to increase the storage and processing capacity of Kooddoo Fisheries and Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company Ltd. (MIFCO), in addition to establishing cold storage and freezing facilities in Thinadhoo Island in the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll and bringing into operation the facility in Funaddoo Island in the Thaa Atoll.
At tonight’s function, the President presented awards and certificates to the recipients of the “youngest fishermen” award, the three vessels that sold the highest capacity, and the three companies that bought the highest capacity. He also presented long-service awards and plaques to students who attained outstanding results in marine sciences in the Cambridge Ordinary Level Examinations.
The President also bestowed posthumously a special plaque of recognition on the late Dr Fathin Hameed for her numerous contributions to the progress and advancement of the country’s fisheries sector.