Fisheries Ministry to set up stricter fines for turtle hunting

The Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture has revealed today that it is working on setting up stricter fines of up to MVR10 million (US$650,000) for the illegal capture of turtles and tortoises.

Senior research officer Adam Ziyad told Haveeru that the regulation would allow the ministry to penalise offenders who illegally capture turtles and tortoises, adding that the regulation had been sent to the Attorney General’s Office for legal advice.

The government’s response came after local environmental NGOs Ecocare and Bluepeace condemned images circulating on social media showing a turtle being cut in half, demanding an immediate response.

Also speaking at the press conference today, Director Hussein Sinan said that current procedures required the police to file the cases as criminal offenses, leading to a court case which often does not yield results due to difficulties in obtaining testimony from offenders.

However, with the new regulation in place, the fisheries ministry would have the authority to punish the offenders.

Speaking to Minivan News yesterday, Bluepeace Executive Director Ali Rilwan said that the main obstruction to preventing such instances was poor coordination between the ministry of fisheries and the Environmental Protection Agency – a regulatory body under the Ministry of Environment and Energy.

According to the existing fisheries regulations, the “catching, fishing, collecting or killing” of sea turtles is illegal throughout the country. The collection of sea turtles and eggs is also illegal, but only in 14 of the country’s 1,192 islands.

Source: Haveeru


One thought on “Fisheries Ministry to set up stricter fines for turtle hunting

  1. Seagrass beds which are so important for turtles are treated as dirt in the Maldives tourism industry, and fisheries ministry do not seem to care about it. If they do not care about the habitats of sea turtles, why they become so anxious now. Its all due to a photo that on social media. Recently one of the atoll councils tried to protect two uninhabited islands in one of the atolls which has largest number of resorts. But the Fisheries Ministry did not give cooperation even when Environment Ministry tried to help the atoll council. Uninhabited islands are under the mandate of fisheries ministry. Within about 2 months the government decided to use those two islands as future resorts. Atoll council wanted to protect those two islands for the sake of birds. In the Maldives bird population have decreased so much. In fact in olden days when fishermen relied on birds to locate fishing shoals it was more effective. Now with less birds, fishermen travel longer distances burning more fuel. I was doing a study related to fisheries and one day I met one the senior person in Government (on fisheries). I was surprized at his word "what a big trouble" Yes he said "Bodu B...ennu." in Maldivian language. I was surprized because I thought my research will help the fisheries sector, and I thought he was an educated man. How can I trust these officials? some of these officials promote pole and line fishery in the Maldives, but at the same time they help other countries that compete Maldives. If someone do an investigation they will know what these people are upto.


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