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Mead fish back early to cover for shortages

KUWAIT CITY, June 15: Mead fish has returned to the market after the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources decided to resume its fishing season on June 15 instead of the first of July as practiced annually.

Souk Sharq fish market sees a rise in customers as local fish including ‘mead’ is available in abundance

The decision of resuming mead fishing season early aims to compensate for the shortage the market is suffering in Kuwait amid a new crisis against which the Fishermen Union warned after most of the fishermen left the country since January.

Chairman of Kuwait Fishermen Union Zahir Al-Suwaiyan thanked the Director of Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources Sheikh Muhammad Al- Youssef for his response in opening the mead fishing season, which had been suspended since the beginning of last December, to compensate for shortage in the market especially after the cessation of fishing operations during the total ban implemented as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, while fishing also stopped in economic waters since March.

In a statement, Al-Suwaiyan appreciated the efforts of the director in developing the various sectors and calling for the season of zubaidi and shrimp be opened in the next few days, similar to the early fishing of mead. He added the announcement is necessary to enable boats and cruisers prepare for the new season, pointing out that most of the fishermen are outside the country since January after the shrimp fishing season ended.

He said the fishermen did not return due to the novel coronavirus crisis. He disclosed that about 300 fishing boats are anchored, in addition to more than 200 cruisers, because all their crews are out of the country. He declared that this will make this fishing season difficult with less catch and supply in the market due to the small number of fishermen currently present. He expressed hope that priority will be given for fishermen to enter when the next flights to Kuwait are opened in the middle of July as stated by the Minister of Communications Mubarak Al-Haris, so that fishing boats can work at full capacity to provide local fish and shrimp.

The union pointed out that the number of fishermen who left after lifting of the total ban and reduction of the prices of travel tickets exceed 650 due to inability of the Kuwaiti fishing boats to exit economic waters since March and lack of the exemption for opening of mead and zubaidi fishing season at the beginning of this month.

He appealed to the Council of Ministers to pay attention to recommendation when opening the airport on July 15 that fishermen should be among the priorities to perform their job. He also appealed to the Agricultural Authority to place the union in the picture when making related decisions to be able to prepare for the necessary labor and to equip boats.

He noted that many skilled fishing workers migrated, especially Indian labor, which was attracted by one of the neighboring countries eager to work on the largest marine merchant fishing fleet. He demanded concerned authorities in the fishing sector to develop the fishing profession and remove all challenges the sector faces.

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