The Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company Limited (MIFCO) will only sell their products to companies that agree to specific conditions set out by the company, the state-owned enterprise (SOE) has said.

“Starting the end of March, we will not sell fish in any other way. The good news for Maldivians is that, from there on in, there will be no word of MIFCO’s fish [products] being rejected… When their [foreign buyers’] quality controllers are brought to the Maldives and the fish [products] graded and checked, there won’t be any rejection [of exports], would there?” MIFCO’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ahmed Shamah Rasheed told the Parliamentary Committee on State Owned Enterprises on Wednesday.

MIFCO officials were brought before the SOE committee in connection with a complaint alleging that the company’s resources are being used for political gain.

Replying to a question by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Member of Parliament for Dhaandhoo, Yaugoob Abdulla regarding rejected inventory, Rasheed said he had discussed the matter with companies from Thailand after taking up his position as CEO.

“We are sending 3,000 tonnes for example. When they get the fish, they may say 500 tonnes are rejected. Because the Histamine quotient is too high. [They might also say] It weighs 500 tonnes less as well. But from day one I refuse to believe that can happen,” he said.

He believes that procedures should be strengthened and he has discussed this with buyers from Thailand, the MIFCO CEO said, after which he has worked to improve on current mechanisms.

“Fish will not be rejected when your quality controller arrives in Maldives. We will not ship the fish unless your quality controller approves it,” Rasheed underscored.

While the Thai companies had been informed of this change and refused MIFCO’s revised terms, the company had sought ways to export Maldivian fish products to other markets and was successful in securing an agreement with a British company, Rasheed said.