Govt to establish fish factories in 3 new locations

Photo: Ministry of Fisheries and Ocean Resources

The Maldives government has signed with a Chinese firm towards the development of fish processing factories in three islands across the country.

The Ministry of Fisheries and Ocean Resources signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China’s Dongfeng Electric International Corporation.

The establishment of three new fish factories aims to address the constraints faced by local fishers in weighing and selling their fresh catches.

Minister of Fisheries Ahmed Shiyam said the factories will be developed in;

  • Lh. Felivaru
  • Dh. Maadheli
  • GDh. Fiyoari

According to the minister, 100-ton factories will be developed in Felivaru and Fiyoari with a 50-ton factory set for Maadheli. The development project in Felivaru will cost USD 50 million, the factory in Maadheli will cost reportedly between USD 75 and 100 million and the Fiyoari factory will be developed for a cost between USD 50 and 75 million.

While Felivaru already houses a fish cannery with a processing output capacity of 40 tons, two more factories exist in Maandhoo and Hulhumale’ with 50-ton and 20-ton processing capacities, respectively.

“Out of the 128,000 tons of fish caught per annum in the Maldives, 63,000 tons are exported as unprocessed or raw fish,” the minister said.

He also said that a significant share of the annual catch is exported in unprocessed fish due to the lack of canneries or processing facilities under Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO).

The minister further noted the existing challenges in retaining dollar revenue from fish export.

“Right now, we are generating an average of USD 91 million annually from the unprocessed fish exported,” Shiyam added.

He noted the new factories planned for development will boost the dollar revenue from USD 91 million per annum to USD 180 million.

“We believe these factories will be established in the next 18 months,” the minister said.

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