Monday , September 24 2018

‘Kuwaiti fishermen are suffering from governmental negligence’ – 3,800 expat laborers in fishing sector

KUWAIT CITY, July 31: President of the Kuwaiti Fishermen Association Zaher Al-Souyan says Kuwaiti fishermen have been suffering from governmental negligence since the inception of the association in 1982, reports Al-Nahar daily.

He explained that Kuwaiti fishermen are unable to find good locations to anchor their boats along the coastline. The traditional location of Shamlan Naqa’a is situated close to the houses of fishermen but the Environment Public Authority is planning to close it down under the pretext that it is polluting the marine environment.

He commended the decision taken recently by the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and State Minister for Economic Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh to postpone the closing down of Al-Shamlan Naqa’a until an alternative location is arranged.

Al-Souyan wondered where the 180 boats and their crew members will go if Al-Shamlan Naqa’a is closed down.

He revealed that the biggest threat facing Kuwaiti fishermen is pirates and thieves, followed by the high prices of fishing equipment, all of which contribute to the increase in the prices of fish. He insisted that the fishermen are not responsible for this but the entire matter is related to demand and supply as well as the daily auctions.

Al-Souyan explained that 808 Kuwaiti fishing licenses have so far been issued with 460 expatriate fishermen, most of who are from Egypt and India. The total number of expatriate laborers in the fishing sector is 3,800.

He indicated that the fishing sector witnesses the least number of disputes between the laborers and their sponsors, affirming that the profits are divided equally such that one half goes to the sponsors and other half to the laborers after the costs are deducted.

Concerning the establishment of the Fishermen City, Al-Souyan said there are three locations suggested for building this city – Fintas, Mangaf and Mahboula. However, the location has not yet been decided.

Regarding the case of fish deaths due to pollution allegedly caused by fishermen and fishing boats, Al-Souyan insisted that the fishermen are not responsible for this issue, indicating that those responsible for dumping poisonous waste materials into the Gulf water including chemicals and sewage wastes must be identified and held accountable for this problem.F

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