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The black with purple colouring fish

Bahrain alerts over exotic marine species

Manama, May 8, 2013

Fishermen in Bahrain have been urged to immediately alert authorities if they catch exotic marine species.

It comes after a "weird" fish - black with purple colouring - was caught at the Manama Jetty near Bahrain Financial Harbour on Sunday, but was quickly released back into the sea, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

The fish, believed to be foreign to Gulf waters, is thought to be called Ocean Sun Fish or Mola Mola.

Environment Co-operation Society for the Protection of Coasts, Fisheries and Migrating Birds president Hassan Al Mughani told the GDN they hoped to study the fish before it was released.

"Sadly, the fishermen sent it back to the sea as they did not have the equipment to keep it alive long enough to be taken to Ras Hayan Fish Farm," he said yesterday.

"The fish was the size of an adult Hammour and looked really different from anything we have seen."

Al Mughani stressed the importance of raising awareness among local fishermen to enable research on new marine species visiting Bahrain's waters.

"Fishermen should be informed on how to act when they catch a fish not belonging to the Gulf sea," he said. "Perhaps proper equipment should be made available at jetties in case of such situations."

His comments were reiterated by Fishermen's Protection Society president Jassim Al Jeran, who said carrying out studies were crucial to safeguarding marine life.

"Such a catch should be sent to Ras Hayan Fish Farm or somewhere else depending on what authorities in the environment advise," he said.

"This fish would have given valuable information on Bahrain's marine life, perhaps we would see more of this kind of species following changes of tides or aftermath of reclamation. We won't be able to know until we study such fish caught in Bahrain and therefore fishermen should inform authorities and seek to send them to the right body."

Al Jeran suspected the fish was from the Arabian Sea. "Perhaps it came to Bahrain through the Strait of Hormuz," he said. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | Alert | marine | Fishermen | Species | exotic fish |

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