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Where everything is Fishy: Male Fish Market, Maldives

Where everything is Fishy: Male Fish Market, Maldives

Maldives is famous for its natural beauty, and its beaches for its proximity to Ocean and the sea food. Maldives is actually a nation made up of 1200 islands at north of the Equator in the Indian Ocean. It was under the judiciary of United Kingdom till 1965 when it gained its freedom and declared itself an independent republic. Maldives is blessed with beauty as there are Paradise Island Resort, Islamic Centre, Gan, Hithadhoo, National museum and much more to visit for a tourist. One of the major tourist attraction spots is the Male Fish Market which is mostly overcrowded with people. The fist market is located on the northern waterfront of Male’, mere two blocks away from the local market. The main feature of the market is the unavoidable odour of freshly brought fish.


Late afternoons would be the best time to visit the fish market because that’s the time when the fishermen bring the freshly caught fishes. You will see the fish cutters with their practiced blades slicing and dicing the fishes. This is surprisingly hygienic market for a fish market. The area is kept quite clean, washed down each day and disinfected. Off course, one thing in which Maldives is truly rich is fishes.


The place in the market is hub of commercial activities, full of shops and stall holders. It is where traditional fishing boats called Dhonis, come from all corners of the island to unload a great selection of goods. You can find from fresh fruit and vegetables to dried fish, oil, coconuts, nuts and jams.

How to get here?

Commercial fishermen negotiating mooring lines, Male', Maldives.

Male is a very small island and it does not have its own airport. If you are coming to Male by air then there is an island named Hulhule serves as the most convenient point for making an entry into the city. It is also very much reachable by water from the port cities like Sri Lanka and Cochin. After reaching, Male you can get the services of taxis, cars and mini buses to reach the fish market.


Fish Market is obviously a must see. It is a market where the price constantly changes according the predictions about the size of the day’s catch and its time of arrival. You might get a good chance to see every inch of the large ones from tunas to hammerhead sharks. Here are some popular fishes you will find at this amazing market.

Yellowfin Tuna


Yellowfin Tunas are torpedo shaped with dark metallic blue backs, yellow sides and a silver belly. They are found throughout most of the world’s oceans and considered as highly migratory species because they can travel across an entire ocean basin.

male (303)

The fishermen at Maldives have mastered the art of selectively catching the famous yellowfin tuna as they pass through the waters of Maldivian archipelago. A crew of 12 men goes out for 2 to 4 days to fish in the waters outside the atolls of island. It takes the experienced eyes of fishermen to look out for hunting yellowfin tuna, which are often associated with dolphin and birds. The tunas are caught by these methods: Pole and line, handline and longline. The pole and line method is most commonly used and results in almost 90 percent of the total fish catch.

Hammerhead Sharks


It is the only species which does not get confused with any other shark. Hammerhead sharks are of quite weird type as they have a wide, thick head like a hammer with the eyes at the margins. This shark is gray brown above with an off white belly. The average great hammerhead shark is up to 11.5 feet long.

caught hammerhead

If you are lucky, you will see these giant hammerhead sharks lying on the floor of fish market. However, if you want a closer encounter with living hammerhead sharks then Hammerhead point is a place which offers diving with hammerheads. It is quite safe as these sharks are usually harmless. You can witness the impressive sized school of hammerheads cruising through the channel and sometimes with groups of other sharks.

Sword Fish

sword fish

Sword Fish is one of several large species known as bill fish. It is recognized by its sharp, pointed bill which is used by it for protection and hunting prey. This fish is found throughout the world’s oceans. This fish is very fast and can reach speeds of up to 50 mph. The Sword fish are often kept as a trophy fish and are also quite tasty. Longlines are the most common gear for catching sword fish worldwide.

Barracuda Fish


Barracuda is a large species of fish found in the warmer, coastal regions of the world’s oceans. Maldives has the perfect water conditions for these fishes. The Barracuda is a predator and feeds only on other animals in the surrounding water. However, because of its aggressive nature, the barracuda is one of the most dominant predators within its coastal environments. These fishes are gutted, cleaned and sold in pieces and completely at fish market. You can take pictures of the fishes and work of the fisherman, who are obviously willing to accept the pictures.

Male fish market is all about fishes but there are also some restaurants nearby with very delicious seafood. So, plan a trip and experience this smelly but hygienic fish market in Male, Maldives.

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