Bahrain's Shrimp Stocks See Huge Drop of 75 Per Cent08 August 2013
BAHRAIN - Bahrain's shrimp population has dropped by 75 per cent due to illegal fishing. More than 200 local dhows have been caught illegally fishing during the four-month shrimping ban.
The illegal fishers have been fined up to BD300 ($793) and had their licences temporarily suspended, Fishermen's Protection Society president Jassim Al Jeran was quoted as saying in the Gulf Daily News, reported TradeArabia.
"Shrimp populations are only 25 per cent of what they were compared with last year," Al Jeran told the newspaper.
"So when legal shrimpers came back this year, the population was diminished and many of them are not shrimping as frequently because it is just not worth it.
"There are 400 fishermen, 270 dhows and 100 boats registered to catch shrimp. They are bringing in between 200 and 300 large containers daily. The quantity is enough currently, but prices have increased from BD1.5 to BD2 per kilo. It is still unknown how it will affect the future supply of shrimp in the local market."
Last year, more than 150 dhows were caught breaking the law during off-season, which Mr Al Jeran said was in place to protect the country's stock.
"No less than 200 vessels were caught during the ban this year," he said. "They used tactics such as switching off their lights and parking their vessels closer to the shore lines. Those who did shrimp during the ban did so in bulk, which has drastically affected the population.”
"Those who got caught would have to pay fines ranging from BD150 to BD300 and those who cannot afford to pay the fine will have their fishing licences suspended for a week or two,” he added.
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