Bahrain sees surge in shrimping ban violation
Manama, July 17, 2010
The four-month off season for shrimping in Bahrain saw a surge in violations with more than 40 fishermen facing legal action, said a top official.
The biggest challenge was stopping fishermen from catching shrimps during the ban and selling them in local markets, said Jassim Al Qassir, marine resources director general, Public Commission for Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife.
"A large number of fishermen have violated the ban and some have been arrested and will be dealt with accordingly," he added.
"But it's not possible to catch all the offenders as they have small speedboats so they are in and out of the water quickly before authorities can have the chance to arrest them. But it's clear that it's not just a specific group but a large numbers of fishermen because shrimps were widely available in the market during off season."
Al Qassir said those who had broken the ban and committed other violations such as using illegal nets may also not have their licences renewed.
He revealed 350 registered licences were earlier issued for catching shrimps, out of which 250 were designated for dhows and 100 for boats.
"As soon as the fishermen clear their technical and internal affairs, they will be eligible to renew their permits for the new season," said Al Qassir.
"This will happen within the coming week as the ban is officially lifted today (July 15)."
The ban was issued on March 15 and aimed to preserve and help replenish diminishing shrimp stocks. – TradeArabia News Service