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The High Commission of India in the Maldives has stated the introduction of a cargo ferry service between Indian and the Maldives will facilitate the export of fish to India and Europe.
The statement was made by High Commissioner of India to the Maldives Sunjay Sudhir during a meeting held with Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Aishath Nahula regarding preparations to launch the cargo ferry service between Cochin and Kulhudhuffushi on September 21.
During the meeting, the transport minister and the Indian high commissioner highlighted the many economic opportunities which would be opened with the introduction of the cargo ferry service. The high commissioner noted the ferry will facilitate the export of fish to markets in India and Europe, which would help to generate additional revenue from the fisheries sector of the Maldives.
The first ferry operated under the service is set to depart from the Tuticorin port in India on September 21 and arrive in Kulhudhuffushi on September 26. The ferry will subsequently dock in Male’ City on September 28.
The transport ministry had earlier revealed two ferries will be operated every month between Kulhudhuffushi and Cochin during the early stages of the service, although this could increase in the future. Noting the ferries used for cargo operations are large ferries, the ministry revealed the ferries cannot enter the Kulhudhuffushi harbour and would instead be carrying out loading and unloading using tug boats and barges.
The local agent for the Kulhudhuffushi-Cochin cargo ferry service is the recently established national shipping line, Maldives State Shipping (MSS).