The administration’s outlook is to stop exporting raw fish, Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Resources Ahmed Shiyam said on Thursday while speaking at a press conference highlighting the Mohamed Muizzu administration’s first 100 day in office. The priority is to export processed fish products, he said.

“The biggest goal [priority] is to export fish with added value. Currently, the Maldives’ catch is 120,000 tonnes per annum. When there is, about 62, 65 tonnes of fish exported. Seventy five percent of that is exported as raw material,” Shiyam said.

The minister implied that increasing income by exporting raw was less practical.

“Therefore, our goal is towards [exporting] zero raw materials. Our goal is to export fish not only canned but also by adding value through other processing methods,” he said.

Shiyam said he would work to reduce the amount of raw fish exports — a view also held by former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who said that the fisheries industry could only expand and increase its profitability by abandoning the idea of increasing raw fish exports. The current administration has also established that fish can be exported as a value-added product.

In the past five years, the Solih administration had initiated efforts to enhance the processing capacity at the Felivaru Fisheries Complex and to expand cold storage facilities at Felivaru, Kooddoo Fisheries Complex, Kanduoiygiri Factory, as well as facilities on the islands of Thinadhoo and Mulaku.