Tuna exports increased by 13% compared to 2021

Fishermen use pole and line fishing method to catch skipjack tuna. Pole and line fishing is a selective and therefore more sustainable way to catch tuna as only fish of a certain size are caught, leaving juveniles to grow to spawning age and replenish the stock in the future. Small bait fish are thrown over the side of the boat to lure the tuna to the water surface. The fishermen use the acceleration of the fish as they race to get their prey, hook them and fling them onto the ship’s flat deck.

According to the statistics by the central bank, Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), the tuna exports from Maldives have increased compared to 2021.

MMA’s reports stated Maldives exported 64,375.1 metric tonnes of tuna by the end of September this year. In the same period of 2021, Maldives exported 55831.5 metric tonnes of tuna. This is an increase of 13.3%.

According to the MA report, the main reason for the increase in fish exports during the period was the increase in exports of fresh and frozen skipjack and yellowfin tuna.

The country exported 36388.8 metric tonnes of skipjack as of September last year, compared to 38811.1 metric tonnes of skipjack as of September this year. This is an increase of 6.2% over the previous year.

In addition to skipjack, exports of yellowfin tuna have also increased, the report said. As of September last year, 12,143.2 metric tonnes of yellowfin tuna were exported. The exports during the same period this year stood at 17026.8 metric tonnes of yellowfin tuna, an increase of 28.6% over the same period last year.

Maldives’ exports of canned tuna have increased due to increased demand in the international market. Canned tuna exports increased by 21 per cent during the same period this year compared to last year, according to the MMA.