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Tue 7 Jul 2009 08:54 AM

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Low fish stocks threaten Bahrain's fishing industry

Over fishing and land reclamation work to blame for declining fish numbers, official says.

Low fish stocks threaten Bahrain's fishing industry
FISH STOCKS: Over fishing and land reclamation work have been blamed for reduced fish numbers. (Getty Images)

Bahrain's fish stocks have fallen so drastically the country's fishing industry is under threat, a government official warned.Dr Abdulredha Shams, head of the National Pisciculture Centre, said land reclamation work and over fishing were to blame for the reduced numbers.

"The increase in dhows is exhausting the fish stocks and not giving them a chance to renew for the next season," Dr Shams told the Gulf Daily News.

"They catch small immature fish and this breaks the circle of life, not allowing a new generation of fish to breed again."

Current fish levels are not sufficient to support the 700 fishing dhows which operate in Bahraini waters and numbers should be reduced to around 100, he said.

Land reclamation and sand dredging also contributed to declining fish numbers.

"These are the direct causes of fish stocks decreasing in the country, especially local species such as hammour and subaity," he said.

Earlier this year, Bahraini fishermen went on a week-long strike over proposed coastal developments.

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

Some 200,000 young hammour and subaity were released into the sea on Monday as part of a scheme to increase fish stocks.

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Angelo 11 years ago

The draining of the salt marshes where the micro organisms that are the start of the aquatic food chain is also to blame - the Marshland that is being re established at the Tigris and Euphrates is one of the positive steps that is being made but the area is possibly being over fished and not being allowed to recover. lessons should have been learned from the ravages that were and are still being made in Florida and the Mississippi delta - that used to provide natures Bio soup to feed aquatic life - I'm no Scientist but to me it is just common sense - I also have a theory regarding Oestrogen form the masses of birth pills - that is not taken out of filtered water that is released into water course being like a huge Birth pill to aquatic species -