Fish stocks to be measured
Manama, June 20, 2007
Bahrain is taking part in a BD635,000 ($1.68 million) three-year project to assess the level of fish stocks across the GCC, the first in over 30 years.
The initiative aims to bring records up to date on the level of biomass and abundance of fish species.
A special research ship will travel to every country in the region collecting data, using trawler nets, sonar radars and eco-sounders.
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) research scientist and project leader Dr Mohsen Al Husaini said that the vessel could take to the water as early as November and the information it collects will be used to compile reports on each Gulf state.
He said that researching the level of fish stocks in the region would take around two years to complete and another year to analyse the findings and prepare the reports.
The first meeting of a technical working group set up to finalise the details of the survey took place in Bahrain yesterday at the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife office in Juffair. Technical experts from each Gulf country are taking part in the event, which will conclude today.
'Unfortunately the countries do not have any surveys to check the level of fish stocks and how much they should take from them,' said Dr Husaini.
'The main objective of the project is to estimate the level of biomass and abundance of fish species because we know the catches in the fisheries sector in the Gulf are decreasing and there has been some over exploitation of fish.
'There is a lack of biological information and all of this is the basis for management of these resources and policy making regarding future sustainable development of stocks.'
The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Saudi Arabia-based Gulf Investment Company and the Islamic Development Bank, Qatar Petroleum Company and the KISR are helping to fund the project.
The KISR originally proposed the scheme to the GCC Secretariat, which approved the idea. TradeArabia News Service