Training centre for fishermen to open in Maldives

The Maldives fishery currently supports some 30,000 people, or 15% of the total Maldivian workforce © Marine Research Centre, Maldives The Maldives fishery currently supports some 30,000 people, or 15% of the total Maldivian workforce © Marine Research Centre, Maldives

A new Fishermen’s Community & Training Centre (FCTC) in the Maldives will nurture the country’s pole-and-line fishing communities through the provision of fisheries training and education.

Supported by Switzerland’s Migros Group’ Engagement Fund, in collaboration with the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF), the centre will provide funding a series of free training courses to school leavers and current pole-and-line fishermen. These courses will focus on responsible fishing practices aimed to improve the sustainability and efficiency of the Maldives’ pole-and-line tuna and bait fish fishery, ensuring the industry’s viability for future generations.

The centre will be located in the south central Maldives on Gan Island in Laamu Atoll and will teach current fishermen and newly graduated school leavers on a range of subjects, from improving fishing practices to post-harvest quality control to improved recording of catch and fishing effort. The training material will eventually form the basis for a formal Maldives curriculum on Pole-and-line Master Fishermen Training.

The centre’s curriculum is being launched this week and the FCTC will open its doors officially in late January next year, with endorsement from the Maldivian Minister of Fisheries & Agriculture.

In addition to the curriculum on responsible and sustainable fishing, the privately-owned Maldives Institute of Technology will assist the FCTC in developing course content and training modules for a marine electrical wiring course that is customised for the fishing sector.

The centre will also provide fishery zone information services to fishing vessels through both two-way satellite communications and SMS messages over local GPRS networks.

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