President Mohamed Muizzu has reiterated his commitment to fulfill the pledge he made to fishermen during his presidential campaign, assuring that he will not lower the purchase price of skipjack tuna below MVR 20 per kilo.

The fishermen presented their concerns to the President at the ‘Masveringe Gunzar 2023′ event held to commemorate Maldives’ Fishermen’s Day. One main concern was to not let the purchase price dip below MVR 20.

Currently the purchase price is MVR 25 per kilo, a price set by the previous administration, and it has been a point of contention with the state owned Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) since it was first instituted. The company, even during the Solih administration, had made objections that the MVR 25 per kilo buying rate was unsustainable and out of touch with global market prices. Under the new management, ushered in by the Muizzu administration, the price is currently under review. However, while a reduction is being discussed, the administration had made assurances that the new rate would not be lower than MVR 20; a point the President reiterated to the fishing community during the Fishermen’s Day event.

The fishermen also requested that the administration strengthen the buying mechanism for skipjack tuna throughout the country, and particularly in southern Huvadhu Atoll, and to expedite the construction of the canning factory on Mulaku Island in Meemu Atoll. The President assured those present at the event that work on fulfilling his pledges to the fishing community would begin soon.

While 40 fishermen, representing a cross-section of the country’s fishing community, attended the event, the President stated that meeting them directly and listening to their concerns gave the administration more hope to resolve the issues.