Yellowfin tuna fishermen express concern over not receiving income support.
Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer yesterday revealed that 8.4 million rufiyaa was given as income support to fishermen as part of Covid-19 economic relief package.
Authorities decided to provide income support for all fishermen, except those involved in yellowfin tuna fisheries. They said this was because yellowfin tuna exporters are already provided a 100 million rufiyaa credit line as part of COVID economic relief efforts.
Former national football team goalie, who is now a fisherman, Imran Mohamed tweeted about the issue, raising concern over that many yellowfin tuna fishing vessels are unable to venture on fishing trips as they can’t cover overheard due to financial constraints.
The Yellowfin Tuna Fisheries Union has also raised this concern with the government authorities. According to the Union, Covid-19 struck right when they were established and that their work was hindered due to it as well.
They said their efforts to establish a flow price for yellowfin tuna, secure more markets to export fish abroad, and establish a competitive fish buying market has been halted due to Covid-19. The Union further cited that they did manage to form a petition and submit it to parliament regarding unfair treatment by companies toward different yellowfin tuna fishing vessels. They added they have met and raised this concern at parliament and other authorities on different occasions.
They noted that yellowfin tuna fishermen are having major financial constraints due to companies slashing fish prices by half. This is causing fishermen's livelihoods a lot, the Union said.