Independent Evaluation - Home > Search

Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Third Fisheries

1. Project Data:   
Project ID:
Project Name:
Third Fisheries
Fisheries & Aquaculture, Agriculture
L/C Number:
Partners Involved:
Norway, Nordic Development Fund, Sweden, OPEC Fund and UNDP
Prepared By:
Charles Derek Poate, OEDST
Reviewed By:
John C. English
Group Manager:
Roger H. Slade
Date Posted:

2. Project Objectives, Financing, Costs, and Components:

This was the third in a series of IDA supported fisheries projects. Its objectives were to:

- increase fish production, government revenue, and foreign exchange earnings;
- increase the income of fishing households to alleviate relative poverty;
- reduce migration to the capital, Male, through balanced regional growth; and
- create the environment for increased private sector participation.

Specifically, the project was to develop a fisheries complex on a remote island (Kooddoo); support research and training in economics and statistics for fisheries, tuna stock assessment and environmental analysis; expand market access of artisan fishers; and corporatize the fisheries public sector enterprise (MIFCO - Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company).

Total project cost amounted to US$32.6 million (compared to US$30 million at appraisal). An IDA credit of US$10.1 million equivalent was approved on January 7, 1992 and closed on time on December 31, 1997, 85% disbursed. Substantial co-financing was provided by Norway, the Nordic Development Fund, Sweden, the OPEC fund and UNDP.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

The Kooddoo fisheries complex, comprising a harbor with a tugboat and cold storage and collector vessels was successfully completed and is sustainable, but replicability is an issue. As a physical investment the project was a success, although not all households in the area benefited. However, measured against the broader objectives the project has had limited success. Fish production in the project area increased but nationwide fisheries GDP growth is stagnant and its share in total GDP has declined. Export earnings in real terms have hardly increased. The few that benefited from the project saw their incomes rise but largely because of catch size increases. This was accompanied by substantial worsening of income distribution in the project area. There is no information on the project's impact on migration. The private sector did benefit but it is uncertain if this was due to project efforts. It is unlikely that MIFCO will contribute significantly to government revenue.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

The major project components were successfully implemented. Fishing port facilities and cold storage facilities have been implemented and training and research supported in fisheries economics, statistics and tuna stock assessment.

5. Significant Shortcomings (include non-compliance with safeguard features):

But. sector objectives were not achieved or only to a limited degree. Large segments of the population depend on fish catches and sales for a major part of their income, yet only few benefit from the capital intensive sector development strategy. A dwindling natural resource base is another reason for concern. Twenty years of Bank involvement has had limited impact as many sector problems remain.

6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
SatisfactoryMarginally Satisfactory
    The new fishing complex performs satisfactorily and other TA component had positive institutional impacts. Yet this is somewhat isolated from the sector objectives where little was achieved. Furthermore the financial structure and stagnant operational performance of MIFCO remain a serious concern.
Institutional Dev.:
    The Kooddoo complex might be sustainable but beyond that there are serious concerns. It is unlikely that MIFCO is sustainable. But most serious is the declining catch sizes and rates, for reasons not fully understood, but hypothesized due either to excess local fishing effort, oceanographic influences, and/or to purse sein catches - in the western port of the Indian ocean - of maturing young tuna which migrated from Maldivian waters, prior to their return to the Maldives to spawn.
Bank Performance:
    Technical preparation and appraisal were satisfactory. Implemantation supervision also was satisfactory. But there could have been more strategic sector and environmental analysis. Concerns of increased poverty also remain to be addressed.
Borrower Perf.:
Highly SatisfactorySatisfactory
    In the narrow sense there was great commitment and ownership, but sector and institutional problems remain.
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

  1. That attempts in small island economies to improve efficiency in their major (and often sole) economic activities may well not improve the economic and social position of the majority of the majority of the population, particularly when external market conditions, and the nature of the basic resource, are changing so as to require more capital intensive production methods;
  2. It is very difficult to use a commercial entity to implement policy based programs; and
  3. Careful selection of consultants is key to high quality services and successful physical implementation.

8. Audit Recommended?  Yes

          Why?  The ICR review by OED reaches different conclusions. The project was not the most appropriate, given the broad sectoral objectives being pursued. The disconnect between objectives and content needs to be examined. The Bank's impact on sector developments over the last twenty years might also be investigated.

9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR provides a concise and comprehensive review of the context and outcome of the project.. However, the ratings seem to reflect achievement of physical objectives rather than the sectoral objectives that were defined for this project. The result is inconsistency between textual conclusions and ratings. Also there is little reference to the two earlier projects and how their lessons were taken into account in this project.

© 2012 The World Bank Group, All Rights Reserved. Terms and Conditions