|Abstract: ||1. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently noted some fish processing
facilities in operation do not have environmental clearance for their projects. EPA
informed Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture that all fisheries projects should have
submitted the Decision Note on environmental clearance before issuing the Fish
2. Euroglobal Maldives Pvt Ltd established on island of K. Huraa Island falls under this
category. Originally built and owned by the erstwhile HMS Pvt Ltd, Euroglobal
acquired the facility during November 2009. There were no records of an EIA for
Huraa’s fish processing and packing facility by HMS either. When Euroglobal Pvt
Ltd appeared to renew its Fish Processing License, the Ministry of Fisheries and
Agriculture issued a temporary Fish Processing license and requested to undertake
EIA for the project.
3. The work of Euroglobal Maldives Pvt Ltd is essentially packing fresh yellowfin tuna
(Thynnus albacares) in variety of forms and exporting to EU-Territories and the USA.
Their main products are gill and gutted, head and gutted, loins and fillets. The lowgrade
tuna and off-cuttings including belly flaps, trimming are sold in Malé outlets
through their agents in Malé. Fresh yellowfin tuna are sourced from Maldivian
fishermen fishing from local boats. The catch is exclusively caught from the handline
method which used livebait, but has little of no-by catch. The fish are gill and gutted
and bled before storing in ice boxes. Trips may last 10-14 days fish normally sold for
the highest offer, currently range from MVR 65-160 per kg.
4. The fish processing and packing facility is located on the north western corner of
reclaimed area of Huraa, at the northern end of the urbanized area. The landing and
access to the facility faces to the north which also happens to be the mouth of the
mangrove area – Kulhi, which is a protected site. Tidal currents flow along the seawall
in an out of the mangrove area. The area, slightly west, is also where the fishing
vessel alongside the sea-wall for landing the catch. Sediment run off from the
mangrove area has made the area shallower almost completely exposing during low
tide. The area also has a seagrass bed on the western side nourished (and fertilized) by
the nutrients run off from the mangrove area.
5. The waste water stream from the factory is released directly to the area, in front of the
mouth into the tidal stream. Waste water includes, sewage mixed with water released
from the collection septic tank, blood water mixed with drainage from the factory
floors and reject (brine) water from RO plants. Because the area is shallow little water
mixing takes place causing eutrophication and foul smell. Water quality tests show
high nutrient load (sulphate + ammonia). As a result water quality test showed high
BOD and excessive counts of coliform colonies and faecal coliforms. It was
recommended to make direct connection to Huraa sewerage network or pump the
waste stream outside reef into deep water into the channel.
6. The water production and power generation takes place in the compound. Two diesel
generators with 500kvA capacity are in operation. A diesel fuel tank on a metal frame
outside the power house serves the fuel to the generators. However, signs of oil spill
during filling and change of oil filters was evident on the ground. These were
identified as impacts and remedial measures were proposed. Water production takes place from two RO plants. Electricity from domestic grid is also present but due to
high electricity demand during ice and water production it has not been possible to
use effectively the local power supply.
7. Feed water for RO plant and ice production is sourced from the lagoon on the western
side of the facility. The intake pipe is placed in a concrete well with the granite
aggregate serving as a sand filter. Intake from the sea is difficult to main and prone to
contamination given that intake is actually not far from the polluted are on the
northern side. It was recommended to install a bore-hole for sourcing water for the
plants. Water production is supplemented by rainwater harvest from the roof of the
main building. There is about 50,000 Litres of water storage on the site. Both water
plant and power generation plant required to be registered in EPA and Maldives
Energy Authority respectively.
8. There are three ice plants with a total capacity of 150 MT/day. Again sea-water from
the lagoon is used as feed water. Ice is given to fishermen free of charge, but only for
fishermen who sell their catch.
9. Raw material (fresh fish) is supplied by the Maldivian fishermen who conduct fishing
in local vessel with local crew. During 2012, record show some 150 unique vessel
sold fish to Euroglobal Pvt. Ltd. During the initial stages of these processing
companies supported fishermen on condition of selling the catch to facilities.
Euroglobal Pvt Lrd provided icebox and start-up capital was provided.
10. The economic activity been done don by the Euroglobal is highly profitable. At
present some US$ 40million per year is declared at the Customs which represents
close to 50% of the total marine export earnings to the country. Although there are no
accurate records at MoFA, 50% of the licensed fishing vessel (total ~750) is likely to
be exclusively handline yellowfin fishing vessels. This gives the scale of this activity
and positive socioeconomic impact from this activity.
11. An indirect impact from the work of Euroglobal Pvt Ltd would be the potential
negative impact to the yellowfin tuna stock. Yellowfin tuna is considered to be
straddling and highly migratory and the stock is distributed across to the entire Indian
Ocean. However, since the current catches from Maldives represent only 7-8% of the
total Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna catch (~300,000 MT/year) local harvesting levels
may not cause much impact at the current level of fishing mortality.
12. Taking together all the activities of the Euroglobal Pvt Ltd (the main work of the
sourcing fish, cutting, cleaning and packing and the support activities of producing
electricity, water, ice and waste) the positive environmental impact far outweighs the
negative impacts from the waste. These impacts can be made reversible and remedied.
If the recommendation and mitigation measures are implemented, the development
project of Euroglobal Pvt Ltd should be environmentally sound.|