(From miadhu.com.mv) – Maldives Fishermen Union has revealed that the decline in the shark and dolphin population in Maldives waters is due to the increase in long line fisheries activities. This was revealed in a letter sent to fisheries and agriculture minister Hussain Hilmy by the Fishermen Union. According to the Fishermen’s Union the letter was prompted by numerous complaints received from various tourism oriented organizations on the steady decline of sharks and dolphins in country’s waters.
According to the letter this matter can only be resolved by bringing an end to the long line fisheries or by banning long line fishing in the country and banning exports of shark fins.
“The sad fact is that millions of sharks have been killed in the recent past. The concern here is not only the decline of shark and dolphin population in the country’s waters but also its adverse effects on the country’s economy. We are at the stage where the citizens are hardly able to get any fish for sustenance. The decline in sharks and dolphins will affect the fish catch, as the undeniable truth is that decline in sharks and dolphins will affect the sizes and the number of fish schools. We, the Fishermen Union believes that the only way the matter can be resolved is banning long line fisheries in Maldives without further research and any further delay. We the Fishermen’s Union on behalf of all the fishermen in the country calls on the government to bring an end to long line fishing with any further delay in order to resolve the issue” the letter signed by fishermen union’s chairman Ibrahim Manik stated.
Further the union expresses concern over the inability of the ministry’s researchers to reach a conclusive decision on the matter and called on the ministry to include experienced fisherman and technical experts in the research team.
The letter said the primary target of the fishermen union is to introduce a ban on long line and fishing in Maldives which the union claims is making the fishermen and their families starve. Further the letter noted that the ban of net fishing must remain in place.