On 12th of January, Ministry of Fisheries, Marine resources and Agriculture implemented Sustainable Fisheries resource Development Project. Financed by World Bank, this will involve growing Grouper fishes in Ari Atoll.
The Groupers are one of the biggest export sources of Maldives, which are now under pressure from increasing demand from local tourism and international markets.
Worth a $100, the grouper industry led to an increasing interest in the fishery as it proved to be a substantial way of income for the fishermen in Maldives.
Groupers are also vital in maintaining a functioning coral reef ecosystem. Their role as predators on the coral reefs keeps other animals in check from running wild and prevent overpopulation of certain organisms on the reef.
In Ari Atoll Mahibadhoo, Dhangethi and Omadhoo, a total of 20 people have been provided sea cages, small groupers, its food and the required training to grow the fishes to it market size. This project will take 18 months.
This is the first time such a project has been implemented in Maldives to develop the mariculture industry, the economy and increase the availability of income sources.
Sustainable Fisheries Resources Development Project, initiated to strengthen marine resources in the country, is planned to last 5 years. The two components under this project are management of fishing and making mariculture a profitable industry.