The lawmakers are planning to adopt a new law that would prevent the leasing out of fishing licences to expats. Leasing out their licences to Asian expatriates is a common practice among Bahraini fishermen and the lawmakers plan to end this “business” by adopting a new set of regulations aimed at protecting the marine wealth.
The existing law allows Bahraini fishermen to obtain up to three licences and it is not considered illegal to sell or lease them out. The lawmakers say this practice has ruined the fishing industry, with expats gradually becoming dominant players.
According to the proposed law, which will be voted by the House of Representatives in its next session, leasing out or selling licences could invite a punishment of BD5,000 in fines or up to six months imprisonment.
However, the proposed law doesn’t go against recruiting foreign workers. Sources say leasing out licences is a big business and Bahraini fishermen earn between BD500 and BD800 monthly by locking deals with Asian expatriates.
Officials at the Fisheries Department within the Works, Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry say there are more than 1,600 licences issued, out of which 86 is for shrimping. Although there were plans to reduce the number of licences, the department has not worked on its implementation.
Source Credit: DT News