Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Indian Ocean is one of the major obstacle to the long-term
sustainable management of tuna fisheries in the Maldives. It predominantly occurrs in the form of poaching at EEZ
boundary line where IUU vessels speciously operating at proximate high sea. Given the highly migratory and
straddling nature of tuna and tuna like fish stocks in the Indian Ocean, the need for a of coordinated effort at the
global and regional level aiming at effective combat against IUU fishing is well recognized.
Being on the receiving end of the social and economic loss caused by IUU fishing, Maldives sought to be an
exemplary state in taking measures put forward through global and regional norms for the fight to eliminate IUU
fishing. A holistic approach comprising of key compliance tools supported by sound legislative provisions and
institutional arrangements will be focused for an effective implementation.
Legal framework: The new fisheries Act which is in the process of formulation will offer a robust legislative framework to tackle
challenges faced in managing and monitoring fishing activities. It will also support the development of
management plans for the main types of fisheries practiced in nearshore and offshore waters. Regulatory
measures and compliance tools ascribe with this will enhance the fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance
scheme that is essential for the development sustainable fisheries.
Monitoring Control and Surveillance - MCS tools: Maldives has a local fishing fleet of more than 800 vessels, which consists of pole-and-line, hand line and longline
fishing vessels. Fishing communities are largely distributed on outer islands, geographically scattered throughout
from north to south. Consequently, MCS measures integrated with modern technology are indispensable to
increase the compliance coverage of the fisheries. Such measures include monitoring of fishing vessels via a
satellite based vessels monitoring system, inspection of fishing operations through an electronic observer system
and establishment of full-fledged electronic data reporting systems.
Port State Measures: With the ratification of the FAO Port State Measure Agreement (PSMA) in March 2017, Maldives is determined to
fulfill the measures of this Agreement. Being closely linked to MCS, PSMA will further improve the coverage of
monitoring and inspection for foreign fishing vessels calling into the ports and will also help to cut short IUU fishing
operations of foreign fishing vessels at high sea. Operationally, a wider system of port controls extending
collaboration coordination to areas such as health, safety, and security will also be integrated.
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
- Compliance, monitoring and enforcement
- Reduction and elimination fishing practices and gear that destroy/degrade marine habitat
- Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
- Reduction of fisheries by-catch and product waste/losses
- Eco-labelling, traceability, certification programmes
Implementation of compliance measures under PSMA with 100% coverage of inspection of foreign fishing vessels calling into designated ports
Electronic observer system to achieve the coverage set by IOTC - regional observer program.
Regulatory measures to support the implementation of MCS scheme of fisheries management, measures specifically formulated for major types of fishing being practiced
Vessel monitoring system for all licensed commercial fishing vessels operate both within the EEZ and high sea.