Operations of Addu City's Fisheries Complex halted due to protests

Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company Limited (MIFCO) has disclosed that operations at the Fisheries Complex in Addu City have been halted due to ongoing protests by fishermen. The protests, which began on June 21 at the complex's harbour, have prompted the Maldives Police Service (MPS) to deploy officers to observe the situation.

MIFCO has acknowledged the protests and the challenges they pose, including threats of eviction of employees and disruptions to essential services such as power supply to accommodation blocks. As a result, the company has expressed difficulty in determining when operations at the complex can resume.

The primary demand of the protesting fishermen is the timely payment of outstanding dues owed to them by the administration. MIFCO has confirmed ongoing collaborative efforts with the government to resolve this issue.

Both MIFCO and MPS have urged the fishermen to conduct their protests peacefully and within the bounds of the law. MIFCO emphasised the potential impact on company property and employees, highlighting its commitment to upholding the rights of its workforce.

The backdrop to these protests stems from a significant backlog of unpaid dues totaling USD 16 million inherited by the current administration from its predecessor. Despite challenges, the government has taken steps to address these financial obligations, including recent disbursements totaling USD 57 million to fishermen, with USD 2.9 million still outstanding.

Efforts are ongoing to navigate these challenges and restore normal operations at the Fisheries Complex, ensuring stability and fair treatment for all involved parties.