King Tuna, offshore fishing and coral reef resilience in the Maldives archipelago

Chennai, January 16, 2019: How did tuna become the most favoured fish in the Maldives? Ms Shreya Yadav, researcher at the Hawaii institute presented the details at a recently organised seminar at the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation.

In her talk held on January 4, 2019, Ms Shreya Yadav explains the historical context about trade in tuna fish in the Maldive archipelago and how it became a popular cuisine item, even as other types of reef fish were available. Reef fish have not been historically eaten and reef fishing in the Maldives has remained historically low. Healthy reef fish populations have aided post-disturbance recovery of reefs, said Ms Shreya Yadav in her presentation, quoting other research papers.

She pointed to how tuna fishery was introduced into Lakshadweep islands only in the 1960s and how tuna fishing here helped keep fishing of reef fish low. She pointed to how the Maldives story can serve as a case study for domestic pelagic fish aiding in coral reef conservation. 

The seminar was attended by researchers, scholars from MSSRF and other research institutions.