Maldives Fish Exports Plummet in 2024

Fish exports in the Maldives have experienced a record decline in the first quarter of 2024, a trend attributed to a combination of factors, including Ramadan and disruptions in the fishing industry.

Data from the Maldives Monetary Authority shows a 48% drop in exports compared to the same period in 2023. The downturn started in January with a 47.7% decrease and continued throughout the quarter. March saw the steepest drop of 68.4%, coinciding with the beginning of Ramadan.

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The total volume of exported fish in the first quarter of 2024 was 14,400 metric tonnes, a considerable drop from the 27,700 metric tonnes exported in the same period last year. Tuna exports, a major contributor to the Maldivian economy, saw a particularly sharp decline of 50.8%.

The closure of the privately owned Ensis Fisheries Group cannery in late 2023, following a government hike in the fish purchase price, is considered a key factor in the decreased exports. Additionally, protests in February over delayed payments by the state-owned Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) led to temporary disruptions in the Kooddoo fish factory.

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