‘Depleting fish stocks prompted closure’
KUWAIT CITY, Dec 31: Deputy Director General for Technical Affairs at the Environment Public Authority Dr. Abdullah Al- Zaidan announced that EPA, with the cooperation of the Ministry of Interior, represented by the Coast Guard and the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR), will soon implement a mechanism for allowing the reopening of Kuwait Bay for fishing early next year, reports Al-Rai daily. This step comes five years after the closing of the bay to fishermen due to environmental pressures and decrease in fish stocks. Dr. Al-Zaidan affirmed that Kuwait Bay will be reopened in a standardized manner in order to preserve the fish wealth and open the way for fishing enthusiasts to practice their hobby at the same time.
In a press statement, Dr. Al-Zaidan explained that there have been several meetings between EPA, PAAAFR and MOI concerning the best ways to organize the process of opening the bay in a manner that ensures the facilitation of the work of these bodies, especially with regard to marine control and limiting trespassing and poaching. There are several conditions and criteria that must be met to allow entry into the bay.
They include, the boats used for amateur fishing and not commercial must be licensed, the fisherman must have a valid fishing license, and must be above the age of 21 years, fishing will take place at specific places and timings, and a specific number of entry, as the concerned authorities see fit, will be allowed.
The system to apply for entry permits for fishing boats will be available in a special application of EPA on its electronic platform, with the cooperation of the concerned authorities. The forms are to be filled out, and licenses will be given to them if their data meets the conditions. Regarding the number allowed to enter the bay, Dr. Al-Zaidan said that the matter is subject to the area to be determined inside the bay and the number of applicants registered to enter.
He revealed that the areas will be determined with the cooperation of PAAAFR and the Coast Guard, as there are waterways and areas, which are prohibited for people to enter, along the bay that stretches on an area of about 720 square kilometers. Dr. Al-Zaidan stressed that determining the areas would facilitate the relevant regulatory authorities to carry out their work in controlling the process and ensuring the accuracy of data and permits.