Maldives - Fishing

Fishing is the chief industry (accounting for 11% of GDP), with the main catch being skipjack and yellowfin tuna. About half the annual harvest is frozen, canned, or dried and exported to Thailand, Europe, and Sri Lanka. The Maldivian fisheries sector underwent a major transformation during the 1980s and became increasingly productive through modernization of catch collection and processing methods. Expansion of the canning industry and investment in fisheries diversification is ongoing. The fish catch in 2000 totaled 132,437 tons; exports of fish were valued at $40.9 million that year. Annual per capita consumption of fish and shellfish in the mid-1990s averaged 175.5 kg/386.9 lb (live-weight equivalent), greater than that of any other nation. Shell gathering is a relatively important activity in the Maldives, with large quantities of cowries exported for use as ornaments. Several rare shell species are also collected.

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