Around 50,000 hamour fingerlings released in Qatar’s waters to build-up depleting stock

July 19, 2010
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Around 50,000 hamour (grouper) fingerlings have been released in Qatar’s waters in an initiative to build-up the depleting stock of one of the most popular marine delicacies in the Arabian Gulf.

However, Qatar has enough supply of fish to meet the needs of the people here, according to an official at the fisheries department of Ministry of Environment.

“The fingerlings were released in Al Wakra and some fishing- restricted areas of Qatari waters with a view to enriching fish storage in the country,” Mohammad Mahmoud Flamarzi, Director of the Fisheries Development Department of the Ministry of Environmet, said. “This was done as the second phase of a five-year project being carried out in co-operation with Bahrain’s Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife. As the first phase, we had released the same number of hamour fingerlings off the coast of Al Khor in July 2009,” he said, quoted by The Peninsula.

The hamour fingerlings released this year weigh between 2.5 grams and 8 grammes and the total cost of the 2010 phase was estimated at QR200,000 ($53,000), up from QR170,000 ($45,116) in 2009, he said

The fingerlings were imported from Bahrain on July 13 and 14 and were transported to Al Wakra and some protected area in the southern waters of Qatar by the department. The fingerlings are expected to weigh between 700g and 1kg within one year.

In another step to increase the fish stock in Qatari water, the department is planning to establish a research centre focusing on marine culturing and farming. A law was recently passed to establish a fisheries committee to introduce standards for establishing fish-farms.

“Qatar has sufficient quantities of fish-stock and so far we have not found any contamination in the fish in Qatari waters. However, with the sudden increase in the population and sea-food being a staple diet for many here, there must have been some shortage,” he said. “Export has no impact of availability of fish as only two species are exported. The main challenge for Qatar is over-fishing, which we have been able to control,” he said, quoted by the daily.

The department has sought to regulate fishing through laws and legislations.

“We had stopped the process of licensing for fishing some 10 years ago and are monitoring the fishing methods and tools adopted by the fishermen. Each fishing boat is allowed only three trips each month and fishing should be in the traditional way.”

The department says that it hopes to keep a balance between the marine-life preservation and sea-food supply.

Studies have advocated the use of wide-spaced fishnets so that small and non-targeted marine-species are not fished.

In a move to enhance the stock and breed of marine life in the Gulf waters, the department is checking the feasibility of having a common forum with all the GCC countries, Yemen, Pakistan and the Red Sea region.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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