Fish exports fell nearly 50 percent in January, the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) said.

According to the MMA, fish exports stood at 4,500 metric tonnes in January 2024, compared to 8,500 metric tonnes exported in the same period last year.

The overall decline in January exports was attributed to a decline in skipjack tuna exports. A mere 2,200 metric tonnes of skipjack tuna was exported this January; a decrease of about 49 percent when compared to the same period last year when 6,100 metric tonnes were exported.

The export of chilled and frozen fish declined in January, while canned fish exports fell by 55 percent.

Last year, a total of 78,000 metric tonnes of fish were exported. However, exports towards the end of the year showed a sharp decline, with Ensis Fisheries, one of the Maldives’ largest privately held fish exporters, shuttering operations citing unsustainable prices after the previous administration increased the per-kilo buying rate from MVR 17 to MVR 25.