Officers attached to the Fisheries Department are currently registering fishermen across the country for the one-off $150,000 cash grant and Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha says it has been brought to his attention that some officers are refusing to put the names of unlicensed fishermen on the list.
It has been found that just about 50% of fishermen are license holders and the subject minister in a broadcasted statement made it clear that “it is not a requirement” that one has to be licensed before being listed as a beneficiary.
He posited that to ensure that the process is transparent two lists will be made. The first one will entail all the licensed fishermen while the second will have the unlicensed.
From there on, the list will be verified to ensure transparency. The Minister warned that “any officer found trying to stop someone from registering his or her name will be disciplined.”
The one-off cash grant was announced by President Irfaan Ali last month and is aimed at providing some form of support to the fisherfolk in light of the recent low catches. Fisherfolk who feel they have been barred from registering for this benefit are encouraged to contact the Ministry of Agriculture on 227-5049.