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Sat 28 Feb 2009 04:00 AM

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Bahraini fishermen end strike

Bahraini fishermen have ended their week-long strike against unsustainable coastal development and will return to work immediately.

Bahraini fishermen have ended their week-long strike against unsustainable coastal development and will return to work immediately.

The strike was called off in appreciation of a visit by Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, who met with fishermen last week and pledged to personally follow up their demands.

"The government can never neglect a group in society which toils to make a living and supply food," he told the Gulf Daily News.

"Bahrain has witnessed a substantial growth in urban developments, yet some sectors like fishing have been affected due to its size limitations."

The Fishermen's Protection Society claims the huge amount of land reclamation over the last five years has drastically depleted fish stocks and robbed them of 80% of their earnings.

The 1700 striking fishermen were demanding financial compensation as well as the protection of ports and fisheries from future development.

The strike reportedly brought the local seafood industry to a standstill and follows a string of smaller demonstrations organised by Bahrain Fishermen's Society over the past six months.

Sheikh Khalifa said the government would take adequate measures and the Municipalities and Agriculture Ministry has been directed to prepare an urgent report during the previous cabinet session.

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