RAK’s traditional fishermen worry over area limitation

RAS AL KHAIMAH — Traditional fishermen in Ras Al Khaimah complained of the limited fishing area allocated to them compared to their compatriots using modern methods despite the latter being fewer in number.

By Sebugwaawo Ismail

Published: Thu 9 Dec 2010, 9:26 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:18 AM

The fishermen said that the fishing area allocated to them by the authorities is very small and this has been affecting their fish harvests adversely.

As many as 600 fishing boats are used by fishermen using traditional fishing methods, said Noordin Hassan, an Emirati fisherman in the Al Ma’aridh area who is in the business for about 30 years.

“The Fisheries Department should allocate more fishing area to the traditional fishermen to enable them increase their daily catches,” he said.

“For last 20 years, no changes have been made in the allocation of fishing area despite the tremendous increase in the number of traditional fishermen. It is important that the authorities concerned allocate more fishing area to us so that we can expand our business and stop suffering,” he added.

Mohammed Rashid, another RAK fisherman using traditional fishing methods, said that their fishing area is overcrowded because of the increasing number of boats. “When the authorities allocated this area to traditional fishermen, there were only 50 boats. Now there are around 600 boats,” said Rashid.

“We are requesting the authorities to reallocate the fishing areas or grounds equally between those using traditional methods and those using modern ones. Clear signs are required to separate the two areas so as to enhance smooth fishing operations and to avoid differences between the two parties. We do not want to encroach on fishing areas allocated to other fishermen,” he added.

Another fisherman, Hamdan Abdul Nassir, said they had lodged their complaints to the RAK Municipality and the fishery committee in RAK, but the problem has not been addressed.

Officials from the RAK fishery committee said they received complaints and that they would coordinate with the municipality to solve the problems.

According to last year’s statistics released by the Department of Economic Development in RAK (DED), as many as 609 licenced fishermen belonging to different fishing groups are operating in RAK using 1401 boats in their fishing activities. — ismail@khaleejtimes.com

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