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Artificial reefs

Posted by Jameela Mohanna on November 2, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Reading through Bahrain This month November 2012edition I came across the very informative article about Bahrain artificial Reef Program .

This a in my eyes a long overdue project.

With all the artificial island being build her and there with catastrophic damage being done by so called environmental friendly methods by companies paying for and building them.

Under the umbrella of the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife (PCPMREW), PH Environment Gulf has been commissioned to design, construct, deploy and monitor ten artificial reefs (2620 artificial reef units in total) strategically located within Bahrain’s waters.

They are to monitor the following:

Examples of monitoring techniques the are to use include:

Species abundance and diversity via visual diver census of fishes and  fauna and flora

Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV)

Fish traps, eg gargoors

Stereo imagery for fish length determinationHydroacoustic surveys to quantify fish biomass

Element analysis of otoliths

Acoustic fish tags

Plankton tows

I have one major concern.

Overfishing has been a problem for years in Bahrain simply because there are to many licenses for fishing disproportionate to the levels of fish in Bahraini waters.

Now most people employed as fishermen are yet again foreigners as they are cheap to hire.

Why should Tamkeen support these 600-1200 fishermen with all foreign employees?

According to the Bahrain Directorate of Fisheries and Marine Resources, there are around 1700 licensed fishermen in the Kingdom.

Which is far far to many. as each license holder is employing a multitude of employees to do the fishing for them.

If they were to be 100% Bahraini the story would be different.

Only 200 license in all fairness should be issued- to preserve the trade and the livelyhood of the career  fishermen.

More that 70% of all fish and crustaceans is exported -and do not reach the local market which has seen a increase in price of fish the local market for the suffering Bahraini who see fish as a staple food since time immemorial

During the month of August 2012 compared to July 2012 due to the increase in the prices of “fish and seafood” by 7.6% this is a mere 1 month!!!!

One can further read the increase of all the prices in the link above.

Never knew that this information is all under our nose but frankly who will check unless it is needed for research etc.

So the reefs are great but as most of the fish get exported anyway how are we as a nation going to benefit from this as not many people opt for the healthy choice of fish due to unreasonable behavior and sense of entitlement of the Tamkeen supported fishermen have.

I agree they have been pushed away from area's and not supported with access to jetties close to the villages but frankly with the sheer volume of fishermen it is unsupportable to continue in this fashion for the kingdom.

Less licenses and export of our precious fish and more for the Local market I say!!!!!

Categories: 2012

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