|Citation: ||Riyaz, M., Adam, M. S. & Naseer, A. (2016). Environmental impact assessment : fish purchase, pack and export facility of Addu Fresh, Addu city, Hithadhoo. Male': Maldives|
|Abstract: ||1- This is the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report carried out for proponent ̶ Addu Fresh
Pvt. Ltd. ̶ to operate fish purchase, pack and export facility in Addu City Hithadhoo. Addu Fresh
Pvt. Ltd. (or Addu Fresh) is one that does not undertaken an EIA study prior to their
establishment on Addu City Hithadhoo five years ago in 2010. The EIA Regulation requires the
EIA study be undertaken before the project start. However, in this case the EIA is done only for
completing formalities and obtaining the license from the MoFA. While the ToR may not
entirely reflect this, the readers and evaluators of this report keep this in mind. The EIA was
prepared as partial fulfilment of the requirement by the Ministry Fisheries and Agriculture
(MoFA) for acquiring permission to renew the fish purchase pack and export licence from the
relevant government authorities. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of development
projects is a requirement by the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act (EPPA) (law
4/93) of the Government of the Republic of Maldives.
2- This report has been prepared in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment
Regulations published by the Ministry of Environment and Energy in 2012 , amended in 2015
and covers both negative and positive environmental and socio-economic impact arising from the
operation of fish purchase, pack and export facility. Major findings of this report are based on
information gathered during the site visit of both the existing environment and possible effects of
the project activities, and ongoing similar projects elsewhere in the Maldives and through
extensive literature review and experiences gained from similar projects elsewhere.
3- The proposed activity will take place on Addu Fresh fish purchase, pack and export facility
located at Addu City, Hithadhoo harbour area on Bandherimagu. Addu Fresh Pvt Ltd is located
on North eastern side of Addu City Hithadhoo harbour. Addu Fresh fish purchase pack and
export facility occupies 4800m2 area and the factory and processing facilities are constructed in
1500m2 area of land on the main road at the Hithadhoo harbour Bandherimagu.
4- Major operation that will be undertaken in Addu Fresh is fish purchase, pack (G&G/HG) and
export to EU and Asian markets. Water and energy needed for the facility will be purchased, on
commercial rates, from the local utility providers. An emergency powerhouse will be established
at the back of the facility. The proponent will ensure that the powerhouse implies with the
relevant regulations and will be registered at MEA. The exhaust chimneys, lightening
conductors, sound attenuators, and CO2-based fire fighting equipment will be installed. Ear
mufflers will be provided for staff working at louder areas of the facility.
5- The raw material, mainly skipjack and yellowfin tuna caught by pole-and-line and handline by
Maldivian on local fishing vessels will be purchased entirely from the Maldivian fishermen.
Addu Fresh has been operating fish purchase, pack and export activities in Hithadhoo for over
two years therefore, the company is well known among the fishermen in the southern region.
6- During the preparation of the EIA report an impact matrix, which is a standard tool for
identifying the possible impacts of operational phase, has been arrayed against a selection of
environmental factors that may be affected directly or indirectly as a result of project activities.
The impact outcomes from this analysis are considered and appropriate mitigation measures in
the operational phase has been provided.
7- The report has identified the main environmental impacts associated with the proposed activities
and found that high water and energy consumption and the discharge of effluent with a high
organic content are the major issues. Noise, odour, solid wastes occupational health and safety
issues may also be concerns of the operational phase. The study has found that most significant
negative environmental impact identified during the operational phase of this project is release of
untreated effluent into the Hithadhoo harbour area. Liquid, solid and other forms of wastes and
particularly hazardous waste generated during the operational phase has also been identified as
moderate impact associated with the project and appropriate mitigation measures are suggested
for each and every impact identified in relation to the project.
8- The study has evaluated alternative options for some of the activities of the operational phase of
the project and has suggested alternatives for wastewater discharge, emergency powerhouse and
fish waste. It is suggested to under-take an extensive monitoring programme that will keep on
monitoring the environmental changes associated with the commencement of operations to make
necessary adjustment to the activities and its operations based on the findings of various
measured environmental parameters suggested in the monitoring plan.
9- The overall positive environmental impact from the operation of Addu Fresh is to integrate the
existing product lines and the value-addition of fishery products. Job creation and stimulation of
local economy, and exports is the most significant positive environmental impact of this activity.
The long-term sustainability of the activity however, will depend on the sustainability of the fish
stock. Skipjack and yellowfin tuna are highly migratory and their stocks straddle across the
countries’ exclusive economic zones into the high seas spreading out into the entire Indian
Ocean. The stocks are being managed by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission which among its
32 coastal and distant water fishing nations. Maldives is a full member and now heavily engaged,
partly due to its existing Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Certification of its pole and line
skipjack and yellowfin tuna fishery. The current assessed status of the skipjack and yellowfin
tuna stock is considered ‘not overfishing’. The total average Indian Ocean catches are below the
assessed maximum sustainable levels and the spawning biomass is healthy well above the point
of recruitment impairment. The Maldives fishery component takes 17% of Indian Ocean skipjack
and some 15% of the yellowfin. The most recent MSY is around at 680,000 Mt per year for
skipjack and 350,000 Mt for yellowfin tuna.
10- On the basis of this environmental impact assessment study and the impact mitigation measures
proposed in the report will be duly implemented and recommendations are given due
consideration, it is concluded that the benefits of the operation of Addu Fresh fish purchase,
pack and export facility will substantially outweigh its imposition on the environment.|