Kooddoo Fishermen Protest Over Unpaid Debts; Government Pledges Resolution

Fisheries and Ocean Resources Minister Ahmed Shiyam has announced the government’s intention to settle outstanding payments owed to fishermen by March 5th. The Minister’s statement confirmed plans to disburse an outstanding MVR 280 million, along with an inherited debt of MVR 250 million.

Fishermen in Gaafu Alifu Atoll Kooddoo staged a protest today, expressing their frustration over the government’s delayed payments. Protesters voiced their dissatisfaction with the three-month gap since their last payment and the perceived lack of urgency in addressing their concerns.

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Demonstrators vowed to continue their protest until a resolution is reached and their outstanding payments are settled. To underline their demands, they temporarily halted the operations of 15 fishing vessels bound for the island’s processing facility, preventing the weighing and sale of fish.

President Dr Mohamed Muizzu has previously offered assurances to the fishing community regarding their outstanding payments, suggesting the possibility of MIFCO (Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company) securing a loan to facilitate swifter compensation.

Muizzu’s planned visit to Kooddoo, as part of his tour of the southern atolls, may provide an opportunity to address the concerns raised by the protesting fishermen, though it remains to be seen if the visit will directly resolve the current dispute.

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