New regulations allow for foreign vessels to purchase fish

Regulations that allow foreign vessels to purchase fish in Maldives' territory have been drafted and gazetted.

According to the regulations gazetted by the Fisheries Ministry on Thursday, foreign vessels can apply for licenses through a company that is 100 percent owned by Maldivian nationals and registered in accordance with the Maldives' laws.

The vessel used for fish purchase by the license applicant must be a foreign vessel. The applicant for the license will be considered as the operator of the foreign vessel used in the purchase of fish.

The vessel applying for the purchase of fish must have a capacity of 500 metric tonnes. It must not be listed by any authority in any country for a criminal offense. In addition, the vessel must have a valid certificate that states that it has the standard of cleanliness that is acceptable to the Food and Drug Authority of the Maldives. The regulations also prohibit such vessels from carrying any fishing gear.

According to the regulations, the validity of the license will be for 12 months. The regulations also provide for investigation and fines for violations.