Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Dr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan has stated that efforts are being made to export fish to the United Kingdom, duty-free.
In an interview with online media Adhadhu, Dr. Hussain stated that the Maldivian High Commission in the UK is attempting to arrange duty-free export of fish from Maldives to the UK, as Maldives would be at a great advantage if the venture is successful.
The minister revealed the largest obstacle is the hike in prices of Maldivian fish products sold in the EU due to the UK’s increase in tariff. He claimed that all previous administrations had tried and failed to lower the duty fee.
Dr. Hussain stated the duty fee in European countries are not being reduced as European fishing boats are not allowed to fish in Maldivian waters.
He also mentioned the competition between Maldivian fishermen and European fishermen in regards to fishing in the Indian Ocean. Due to the competition, European fishermen will most benefit from not allowing Maldives zero tariff.
The minister claimed this is all his personal opinion, and that although the European Union may make excuses claiming Maldives’ refusal to participate in international ventures, or disapproval of some ventures, the real reason is due to not having permission to fish in Maldivian waters.
Minister Dr. Hussain reiterated that European fishing boats will not be allowed to fish in Maldivian waters.