The Republic of Maldives is an archipelago of 26 natural atolls, consisting of 1,190 coral reef Islands in the Indian Ocean. The Maldives has a coastline of 1,129 km and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of nearly 1 million square km. The Maldives tuna fishery comprises of four main components; pole-and-line, handline, longline and troll line. In terms of total landings, livebait pole-and-line is still the most important. The main target species are skipjack tuna and yellowfin tuna. In 2018, 27 longline vessels and 688 mechanised masdhoni operated in the EEZ of the Maldives and on high seas. They caught a total of 148,171 t of tunas in 2018, comprising of skipjack, yellowfin, bigeye, frigate and kawakawa. Pole-and-line fishery landed 99% (99,886 t) of skipjack tuna and was the second most important gear for yellowfin tuna, landing 37% (17,600 t) of all yellowfin tuna caught. Handline gear almost exclusively landed yellowfin tuna (28,960 t) which represented 99% of all species landed by the gear. The longline fleet landed 799 t, comprising of 633 t of yellowfin tuna and 163 t of bigeye tuna.

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