Ocean Hunters Pvt Ltd says that they are unable to give a better price for yellowfin tuna fishermen as export expenditures are high.
Answering a question posed by Fishermens.mv, Managing Director of Ocean Hunters, Hassan Eman said that they are unable to give a better price to buy yellowfin tuna from fishermen due to high expenditures involved in exporting the fish to foreign markets. Eman said they are concerned about the issue, but have their hands are tied as they have to cover the cost of exporting fish.
“Fishermen complain about not having a floor price for their catch. We sympathize and agree with fishermen, this is a worrisome issue. Fishermen, fish processing and exporting companies as well as the government authorities need to come together to lobby for this issue. Fishermen need to know, when we buy fish for 2.60 dollars per KG, we have to still add a cost to it. Freight is very expensive as well. Airport takes many fees as well. There are so many fees levied on fish that are exported from the country. Moreover, if we export to European markets, we have to add duties and taxes to our export products. So it is not possible for us to buy fish for 4.54 to 5.19 dollars from fishermen.” Eman said.
According to the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, prices for yellowfin tuna was most high when duty levied from European countries was at zero percent. Director General at the Ministry Adam Ziyad said that the issue can only be resolved through dialogue with European countries.
“The highest price for yellowfin tuna was fetched in the market during the time when European countries exempted duty for the fish exports from Maldives. Currently, we are being levied 24 percent duty for our fish products exported to Europe. This means that for each 6.49 dollar 1.5576 dollars is levied as duty. This is a direct loss for fishermen. The only solution to this is seeking duty exemptions from European countries through negotiations with them. But for big European countries, exports from small nations like us is not a huge matter.” Ziyad said.
Getting small payment for their catch is a major concern for yellowfin tuna fishermen. On average processing and exporting companies buy yellowfin tuna from fishermen for 2.60 to 3.57 dollars per KG. But this was not the case before. Earlier companies bought yellowfin tuna from fishermen for over 6.49 dollars per KG.