The government, on Sunday, approved the new fisheries regulations which impose fines of up to MVR 400,000 for the capture and trade of marine species protected under Maldivian law.
Approved by the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, under the Maldives Fisheries Bill, the new regulations were published on the national gazette amid criticisms aimed at Minister Zaha Waheed over delays in creating the guidelines.
While the fisheries regulation widely prohibits capture, killing, harming or transporting protected species, individuals that cause harm to such species can be fined up to MVR 300,000.
Fines of up to MVR 400,000 can also be imposed on individuals that damage buoys placed by the government to demarcate areas exclusively set aside for pole and line fishing.
Despite the harsh measures, any fishing vessels that unintentionally capture protected species as bycatch will not be penalized. However, such incidents must be reported to the fisheries ministry.
As per the new regulations, infractions that could potentially endanger lives or cause harm, including violations of diving guidelines, also carry hefty fines.
An MVR 100,000 fine will be levied on boat captains of fishing vessels if a crew member or passenger without the required certification dies or sustains a considerable injury while diving. Injuries or deaths caused by failure to service or maintain diving equipment will also result in the same fines.
Full details are available at the link below:
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