Maldives to commence sea cucumber export

Maldives would begin exporting the sea cucumber farmed in the island nation this year, fisheries minister Dr Mohamed Shainee revealed last week.

In an exclusive interview with Avas last week, the minister said the sea cucumber harvested in Laamu Atoll would be exported by the end of the year as part of government plans to explore and introduce alternate marine resources in the archipelago.

"We're working to commence exportation in October or November," Shainee said.

Maldives had launched a special program to harvest sea cucumber in three islands in Laamu Atoll in August last year.

The project jointly with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) had offered special training to locals and had also provided loans for interest locals in two islands.

Minister said 30 people had been given 3,000 sea cucumbers to help them kick-start the venture.

"We estimate that each of those people would receive an income of around MVR10,000," Shainee added.

Maldives fisheries ministry had also launched a pilot project to introduce commercial fishing of diamond-back squid in the archipelago.

The ministry with the assistance of JICA, has looked into the commercial exploitation of that resource with a high demand in Japan.

Authorities had fished 11 diamond-back squids under the project.

The minister said the initial results look positive for commercial fishing of diamond-back squid in the Maldives.