Maldives considering legalizing shark fishing

by    DiveSSI    31st March 2021
Maldives considering legalizing shark fishing
Face of a blue shark

The Maldives government is in discussions to legalize shark fishing in a bid to boost their struggling economy.

The Maldives has become a well-known hope spot for sharks after implementing a shark fishing ban in 2010 and is a premier shark diving destination. The latest move to consider legalizing shark fishing in the Maldives has understandably shocked marine conservationists and divers around the world.

Why is the Maldives considering legalizing shark fishing?

According to local news reports, the Maldives Minister for Fisheries, Zaha Waheed, has said that discussions are underway to legalize shark fishing. Speaking at the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Affairs, Minister Waheed is reported to have said that shark fishing is ‘supposed to generate revenue for the state and is a profitable strategy’.

“Very few countries implement shark conservation. Since it is a means to generate profit we do not have to limit ourselves. [We can] open [shark fishing] as a manage fishery for a certain duration and fish without endangering the shark population.” – Zaha Waheed, Maldives Minister for Fisheries.

It has long been known that sharks are worth more alive than dead and legalizing shark fishing in the Maldives does not make economic sense.

A 2019 study into the economic benefits of shark diving in the Maldives reported that direct business revenue from shark divers was around US $14.4 million. Added to that, the revenue generated from associated employment and local businesses was estimated to be US $55 million.

In contrast, a 2009 study demonstrated that a single grey reef shark is worth only $32 to the Maldives economy as landed catch.

By upholding the Maldives shark fishing ban, shark tourism will continue to thrive now and in the future. Importantly, this will protect a vital and sustainable income source for many Maldivian communities.

Healthy oceans need sharks.

Sharks are crucial for helping to maintain the delicately balanced ecosystems that keep our oceans healthy. They manage prey populations, act as clean-up crew and ensure species diversity in the oceans. The removal of these vital predators could have far-reaching and devastating impacts that would affect us all.

With more than 300 species of sharks and rays threatened with extinction, and the urgent global climate crisis, shark populations need protected waters now more so than ever.

How can you help?

You can sign a petition to oppose the shark fishing initiative easily online and add your voice to the thousands of people who have already signed.

Source: image©istock/Velvetfish

Written by
31st March 2021
DiveSSI on Apr 07th 2021
Hello Andi, the Science of Diving course was only available for 6 months after the end of the campaign. After that, the course was deleted - so if you want to finish it, you need to buy the course with your SSI Training Center. Please find the next SSI Training Center in your area here: If you want to crossover to SSI, we have a campaign at the moment, where you will receive the digital kit for free, more info here: Thanks and have a nice day!
Andi rendall on Apr 06th 2021
I would like to sign your partition to stop this and also finish your science of diving course I signed up for last year after completing on line course with you never got to do final exam all on line stuff done I would also like to x over to instruct I am a PADI OWSI with 14 specialities I teach Best regards Andi
Riyadh Lai on Apr 04th 2021
Shark fishing or shark finning? Who is lobbying the Maldives government?
Riyadh Lai on Apr 04th 2021
Are shark finning business interests (ie non-local and real beneficiaries) lobbying Maldives government to open up their seas to shark “fishing”? Shark fishing or shark finning? Who are parties lobbying the Minister of Fisheries?
Tanni Schipper on Apr 02nd 2021
Stop this bullshit! Extinction is forever!!
Alice on Apr 02nd 2021
Please save the shark
Kent on Apr 02nd 2021
If the Maldives government has plans to allow shark fishing, which is against all common sense, I will never set foot on any of their islands. This should lead to a boycott of the Maldives and economic sanctions should also be applied.
Nige Lindsey on Apr 01st 2021
Please DONT legalise shark fishing as it would cause devastation just like Climate Change Plus your economy will only be satisfied for a short period compared to the revenue achieved by shark tourism
Ellison gough on Apr 01st 2021
This need to stop. These sharks are an important part of the oceans environment! This is my dream place to go diving and trust me I will never go if they allow this.
Ray Brienza (SSI Instructor) on Apr 01st 2021
If they legalize shark fishing.... the diving community will not go to the Maldives. I would love to go to the Maldives to scuba diving and take a group of divers from Denver, CO, USA ..... I will not go if they legalize this!!!!!!!

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