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There will be no commercial shark fishing in the Maldives

Recently, there have been reports of the possibility of reintroducing commercial shark fishing in the Maldives. Fortunately, it has emerged that nothing of the sort will take place. The past few weeks have brought worrying newsIn recent weeks, it has been reported that the government of the Maldives is considering the possibility of reintroducing shark
Published: April 23, 2021 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 22:25
There will be no commercial shark fishing in the Maldives

Recently, there have been reports of the possibility of reintroducing commercial shark fishing in the Maldives. Fortunately, it has emerged that nothing of the sort will take place.

The past few weeks have brought worrying newsIn recent weeks, it has been reported that the government of the Maldives is considering the possibility of reintroducing shark fishing. This would be a U-turn, as sharks have been totally protected in the country for over a decade. The diving community has been following the news with concern.

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With concern for the continued protection of sharks in the Maldives, PADI representatives met with Zaha Waheed, who serves as Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture. All this to empower the diving community and ensure that the shark situation does not deteriorate.

During the meeting, Minister Waheed assured that nothing will change in the Maldives and sharks will continue to be subject to a total ban on fishing. In contrast, on 20 April 2021, the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture issued a statement saying that “the Maldives does not intend to allow fishing that targets sharks”.

Sharks are undoubtedly the dominant force in dive tourism in the Maldives. We therefore congratulate the local authorities on their commitment to protect them to date. The Maldives sets an example for other countries when it comes to protecting these magnificent creatures, which are critically endangered today. said Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide

There are currently 17 shark sanctuaries in the world. The first was established on Palau in 2009. The others are also located in popular dive destinations such as French Polynesia, Honduras, the Bahamas and several locations in the Caribbean. The Maldives Sanctuary was established in 2010 and covers an area of 916,000 km².

How much are sharks worth?

In the Maldives, tourism accounts for around 25% of GDP and diving is the leading and most popular tourist activity. Before the sanctuary was established, shark fishing contributed US$ 0.7 million to the budget. Today, thanks to the protection of sharks, the Maldives collects US$ 2.3 million from diving tourism. As you can see, the re-branding has worked out well for everyone.

Sharks are undoubtedly one of the most endangered species of sea creatures. Recent research shows that the global population of these predators has fallen by 71%. More than a third of shark and manta ray species are threatened with extinction, all due to overfishing.

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About author

Marcin Pawełczyk
Marcin’s journey with diving has been an adventure. Starting as a recreational diver, he soon found himself drawn to the fascinating stories and mysteries of Baltic wrecks. After gaining experience, Marcin decided to go beyond just leisurely exploration and took his training up a notch by completing the TMX course, allowing him to explore even deeper and uncover the secrets of inaccessible places. His next challenge has been cave diving, where he is honing his skills to become a certified diver. Not content to simply take in the breathtaking beauty of underwater life, Marcin has also embraced underwater photography since 2018, capturing stunning shots that bring these worlds alive for those who are unable to experience them first-hand. Marcin’s passion for the underwater has taken him far and is sure to continue doing so as he dives into new depths and captures breathtaking images.
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