Call to revive subsidy to fishermen associations

ABU DHABI — The chairman of the UAE Fishermen Associations Union (FAU) and the Dubai Fishermen Association, Omar Saif Ahmed Humaid Al Mazroei, has urged the government to revive its subsidy to both the associations.

By Atef Hanafi

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Published: Mon 4 Sep 2006, 10:42 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:17 PM

The suspension of the federal government subsidy, which had been available since 1986, has affected national fishermen and many of them have had to abandon the profession, he told Khaleej Times.

The director of the cooperation department at the Ministry of Social affairs, Hussain Saleh Al Shawab, is however making some efforts to subsidise 12 fishermen associations in the country, according to Al Mazrouei quoting Press reports.

But, he clarified, the Fishermen Associations Union has not received any funds as yet. He stressed that the state subsidy was necessary to ensure that locals do not suffer any more and can return to their livelihood.

A number of fishermen associations in Umm Al Quwain, Ajman and Diba Al Hisn still get the subsidy while some others like the Ras Al Khaimah Fishermen Association are now defunct.

Al Mazrouei said he has already discussed the situation with Dr Mohammed Saeed Al Kindi, Minister of Environment and Water Resources.

He also stressed on the need to hold the fishermen associations’ tri-annual elections as scheduled so that important issues like this can be tackled in a more regular, efficient, manner.

The subsidy the former Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries provided in the past was in kind and included fishing kits, engines and cranes, said Humaid Al Rumaithi, Director of the Abu Dhabi Fishermen Association and FAU deputy chairman.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rahman Mohammed and a number of fishing boat chiefs commenting on the new rule regarding the fishermen association in Abu Dhabi — involving the Ministries of Finance and Environment issuing open-ended labour cards without restriction to work on a particular fishing boat — said its impact will have to be studied while it is implemented on a trial basis for a year. But, they agreed, it certainly seems to offer several advantages and better security for fishermen.

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