Total shark ban to imposed on 1 July decides cabinet

The long-expected ban on shark trade and export of shark products will come into effect on 1 July 2010.

The decision to impose the ban, which was meant to come into effect on 1 March 2010, was made yesterday in a cabinet meeting chaired by Vice President Mohamed Waheed.

At the meeting yesterday, the cabinet also decided the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture would assist shark fishermen to find alternative livelihoods.

The cabinet also decided to ratify the Agreement on the Establishment of South Asian Regional Standards Organisation (SARSO).

One of the main objectives of this agreement is to develop standards for the region, and to facilitate intra-regional trade.

Cabinet members noted that with the ratification of this agreement, ‘consumer confidence on Maldivian local products will improve’.

The Maldives will also benefit from SARSO assistance in formulating national standards for products.