This makes the Maldives an impressive ﬁshing destination worldwide. A cruise around the Maldives is rarely complete without a ﬁshing expedition. With rich ﬁshing grounds, you do not have to venture far from shore to catch the big game. A chain of 26 atolls made up of nearly 1,200 coral islands, you will experience remarkable scenery. “The Maldives is fortunate to beneﬁt from ample ﬁshing opportunities all across the country”, says the team at Veela Private Island. When discovering the Maldives on a superyacht, the highly trained team on-board will show you all the best ﬁshing spots dotted around the countless islands, lagoons and atolls. Outside the atolls, massive tuna catches, marlin, sailﬁsh, and the famous Maldive skipjack are easily netted. Skipjack, also known as the “Maldive Fish” is the country’s main export. The FLYING FOX Captain says “the range of species of ﬁsh in the Maldives is extensive, being in the Indo Paciﬁc band with strong currents allows for all species to live and breed there”. Nearing sunset, most of the islands start to bustle with people and sound. The market area of Marine Drive in Male is ﬁlled with returning ﬁshermen. Rainbows of colourful ﬁsh are passed and trolleys loaded with fresh tuna move from door to door sales.
For many decades, ﬁshing has played a vital role in the local culture as it is the country’s lifeblood and primary economic industry. According to the team at Velaa Private Island, “ﬁshing is rooted into the very culture of Maldives, playing a large part in its heritage and still an important part of the economy”. Fishing yields a sizeable gross domestic product and job opportunities for the vast majority of the island’s population. Blue Marine Foundation explains that “the cuisine of Maldives is mainly ﬁsh, and Maldivians typically eat tuna for all three meals of the day, which is why they have the highest ﬁsh consumption per capita in the world. Aside from ﬁsh forming a large part of the diet, it is also a very important recreational activity, particularly for men, but increasingly for women too”.
When ﬁshing in the Maldives, it is imperative to follow a sustainable approach. Blue Marine Foundation advises “individuals should be mindful of the equipment they use, the species they’re taking, as well their fishing locations and times. Although many people ﬁsh in an environmentally conscious way, overﬁshing remains a risk because the scale of ﬁshing remains a problem”. It is also important to note that the Maldives is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change, predominantly rising sea levels. On the advice of BLUE, Imperial instructs all charter guests to follow a general ﬁshing guideline to try to manage and protect the underwater world. For example, do not catch or eat protected species (such as turtles and sharks), do not catch or eat threatened species (brown marbled grouper, camouﬂage grouper, and more).
The government of Maldives strictly prohibits the hunting of whales and dolphins as well as the use of harpoon guns. Moreover, the Maldives has a 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) which provides the ﬁshing industry with exclusive rights and covers an approximate area of 560,000 square miles. In reference to the Blue Marine Foundation, “the government has pledged to protect twenty per cent of Maldivian waters within the next ﬁve years. This is absolutely critical for the Maldives as healthy ﬁsh populations are integral to coral reef health”. With two seasons in the Maldives, opportunities for ﬁshing vary due to changes in currents, visibility, water temperature and plankton movement. For big game, the best season is from November to March because of the current. The Maldives also offers different types of ﬁshing: big game ﬁshing, casting, jigging, pole and line ﬁshing, traditional night ﬁshing and ﬂy ﬁshing. According to the Captain of FLYING FOX, it’s easy to catch big game. With the right set-up and a great local guide, they can get you out to their secret local spots for each atoll.
Cast your line from your superyacht and enjoy one of the most popular activities on the island. View the picturesque landscape whilst trying your luck to catch tuna, barracuda, wahoo, or dorado. Show off your catch and ask your chef on-board to grill you a delicious dinner. “The Maldives is a haven for the avid ﬁsher, sporting some of the most interesting and sought-after species from the Maldivian yellow ﬁn tuna to the impressive blue marlin” according to the team at Velaa Private Island.
Pole and line ﬁshing are typically reserved for commercial ﬁshing. Learn to master the art of Maldivian line ﬁshing from your experienced crew. Cruise to spots where you will spot an abundance of ﬁsh. Line ﬁshing is environmentally sustainable and has been practised for centuries.
Night ﬁshing in the Maldives is the most famous type of ﬁshing. Enjoy the opportunity to catch snappers, emperors, barracuda, squirrel ﬁsh, and more. Under the sparkling stars, night ﬁshing is deﬁnitely a treat for aﬁcionados. With plenty of inhabited islands and sandbanks, explore ﬂy ﬁshing during your superyacht charter. Discover a great number of bone ﬁsh, groupers, and more. When asked where the best ﬁshing spots are, the FLYING FOX Captain replies “this will very much depend on which species you are targeting, and the time of year. One guaranteed way to get the best out of a ﬁshing trip is to employ a local guide who has ﬁshed the area his whole life and can take you out to the secret local spots. In general, the most life can be found at the entrance to the atolls, where the currents are strong. The best thing about chartering a superyacht in the Maldives is that we can use our tenders, obtain the services of a local guide and take guests straight to the best spots”.
Cruising in the Maldives is a truly unique experience partnered with warm waters, incredible views, and an abundance of activities. The FLYING FOX Captain shares a great memory when ﬁshing in the Maldives. He recounts “in the winter of 2019, on the ﬁnal day of a charter, we organised a full day on the beach for our guests. The day was spent diving, sailing, jet-skiing and relaxing on the beach. In the evening we organised a beach barbeque, bonﬁre and live music by one of our electricians who plays the Spanish guitar. What the guests did not realise was that at the same time we had crew free-diving in order to catch some cray ﬁsh and also octopus. The guests were able to see the crew come out of the water. They showed their catch which was handed over to the chef. It was on the barbeque in ﬁve minutes. This was the most freshly prepared catch I have ever witnessed!”.