Fishermen from Kudahuvadhoo Island in Dhaalu Atoll have initiated protests, calling on the government and the Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) to settle long-overdue payments for fish purchases. These protests come in the wake of similar demonstrations by fishermen in Addu City, who have been making similar demands since Thursday.

Fishermen aboard their vessels converged in the island’s harbor, displaying a unified front with their fellow fishermen in Addu City. Reports indicate that fishermen in Addu City have not received payments for over 80 days.

Fishermen are calling on President Mohamed Muizzu to deliver on his electoral promises, including a commitment to pay fishermen within 48 hours of purchasing their catch—a pledge that remains unmet.

The protests escalated on Monday when the fishermen’s wives and other family members joined the demonstrations in Hulhumeedhoo Island, amplifying the call for the Muizzu administration to settlethe pending payments. The rally has also led to the suspension of operations at MIFCO’s fish processing factory on Hulhumeedhoo Island, further spotlighting the issue.

In response to the growing tensions, the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) introduced an emergency motion in the parliament on Tuesday, demanding the Muizzu administration expedite the payment process. The motion, presented by Maradhoo MP Ahmed Didi, advocates for non-interference by police and military in the protests, immediate settlement of dues to the fishermen, and the establishment of a sustainable framework to avert future payment delays.

The recent protests in Addu City are part of a larger wave of demonstrations across the Maldives and followed similar demonstrations earlier in the month in Hulhumalé, Malé, and Madaveli Island in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.

Despite the government’s release of MVR 46 million out of the MVR 80 million owed ahead of the Eid al-Adha holidays, the fishermen’s grievances regarding unpaid dues persist, highlighting a deepening crisis within the nation’s fishing industry.