President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has decided to establish a National Registry of Fishermen, as advised by his Cabinet. The decision was made following deliberations on a paper submitted by the Ministry of Fisheries and Ocean Resources to the Cabinet.
Establishing a National Registry of Fishermen and initiating its enrolment procedure is among the administration's 14-week roadmap. One of the primary reasons outlined in the Cabinet paper for establishing the National Registry of Fishermen is to ensure that fishermen and those engaged in the fisheries sector receive governmental recognition commensurate with other professions. The Cabinet paper underscores the necessity of such a registry to facilitate the fisher community's access to the banking sector, enabling them to avail of its benefits, secure loans for diverse purposes, and access other government services. In addition, it aims to provide social protection and ensure that the fishing community directly benefits from facilities such as subsidies.
Furthermore, the criteria for enrolment in the registry stipulate that the applicant's primary source of income should derive from the fisheries sector. The paper highlighted that despite the Fisheries Act of the Maldives mandating the establishment of a National Registry of Fishermen, this has not been instituted to date.
The Cabinet paper emphasises that the Ministry had been maintaining proper records for tuna stocks and notes the absence of comprehensive documents about reef fisheries and associated fishing vessels within the country. As per the Cabinet paper, in establishing the National Registry of Fishermen according to the Administration’s pledge, meticulous records of activities such as reef fishing, recreational fishing, and sports fishing will also be maintained.