Bahrain: More Expats Engaged in Illegal Shrimping

Fishing in Bahrain
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Close to 300 fishermen were caught for illegal shrimping since the ban came in place in 2018, it is learnt. Lawmakers urged strong action against those who are engaged in this illegal activity. They also shared complaints of Bahraini fishermen, who claim many expat fishermen have been found engaging in this illegal activity.

The latest official statistics showed that there are around 1,400 non-Bahraini fishermen working under 276 licences meant for shrimping alone. It means 22 per cent of total expatriate fishermen working in Bahrain are employed in shrimping.

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Bahrain’s fish stock has declined almost 90 per cent when compared to that of a little over a decade ago, a study said last year. The study has warned that the remaining 10pc will soon decline if urgent steps are not taken to preserve the marine resources.

The study conducted by the Marine Resources Directorate within the Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry, has attributed the sharp decline in fisheries wealth to a number of factors. Among them the prominent one is the Karaaf method, which is heavy fishing near the seabed, especially to catch shrimp. The second reason is overfishing.

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The Kingdom has been implementing a ban on shrimping during the breeding time during the past few years. Strict punishments for violating the ban include imprisonment, fines and seizure of boats.

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