The cabinet in its meeting today has decided to ban trade and export of sharks and shark products. The ban will come into effect on
1 July 2010. Today’s cabinet meeting was chaired by Vice President
Dr Mohamed Waheed.

In their meeting on 23 February, the cabinet had discussed on the decision to impose a total ban on shark hunting by 1 March 2010. It was decided on that meeting that a paper on this matter should be submitted to the cabinet within 14 days.

At today’s meeting the cabinet deliberated on the paper submitted, and decided to enforce the decision on banning shark hunting in the Maldives beginning from 1 March 2010. It was also decided that the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture would assist shark fishermen to find alternative livelihood.

At today’s meeting, the cabinet also decided that the Maldives would ratify the Agreement on the Establishment of South Asian Regional Standards Organisation (SARSO).

One of the key objectives of this agreement is to develop harmonized standards for the region to facilitate intra-regional trade.

The members noted that with the ratification of this agreement, consumer confidence on Maldivian local products will improve and that the Maldives would benefit from SARSO assistance in formulation national standards.