The Ministry of Fisheries and Ocean Resources, and the Ministry of Finance have been in consultations to arrange the payment of the outstanding dues to fishermen as a result of the price hike of the per kilo buying rate for skipjack tuna introduced by the previous administration. Ministers Ahmed Shiyam and Mohamed Shafeeq attended the meeting.

While the Muizzu administration have yet to provide additional information, the Ministry of Finance, in a post to social media, said that the agencies had discussed how to settle the state’s outstanding payments to the fishermen, and how the two ministries can work together productively in the future.

Fisheries Minister Shiyam, speaking to local media on Thursday, said that when he took office there was MVR 200 million unpaid to fishermen, which amounted to two months’ worth of unpaid dues. MVR 30 million of the outstanding has been paid since he took office, Shiyam said.

One of the biggest complaints from fishermen during every administration is not receiving immediate payment from MIFCO for the fish sold while other complaints include waiting in queues for several days as well as the difficulties caused by the limited supply of ice to pack the fish in before they can be weighed and sold.