Fish wealth supports Yemeni and Arab exports [Archives:2003/655/Business & Economy]

July 31 2003

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
The consultative meeting held by the Arab Organisation for Agricultural development in Sana'a has recommended the work for exploiting the fish wealth and developing mechanisms for production and marketing in addition to drawing up rule encouraging attraction of local and foreign capitals for investment in Yemeni fish wealth sector and establishment of Arab joint projects.
The Arab meeting on fish wealth held in Sana'a on 27-29 July 2003 has confirmed that Arab fish wealth constitutes one of food and economic sources and a pillar of exports. The meting has also affirmed the necessity of developing the Arab fish sector and the protection, monitoring and exploiting the Arab fish reserve according to the latest technological means with the aim of protection the coasts and developing their resources.
The meeting has also urged to maintain supporting fishermen through the Arab Cooperative Federation for Fish and providing necessary requites needed by them. Working papers discussed in the meeting have clarified that Arab homeland shores amount to 22.700 thousand km long and have a continental ref with an area of 607 thousand square km. the total Arab fish production had in 2000 amounted to 3 million and 11 thousand tons, among which 2 million tons of sea fishing and the remainder is the production obtained in local waters and fish culture projects.
Yemen among four main countries
Studies have explained that Yemen is among four Arab countries possessing a share of 78 per cent of the total Arab production of fish out of an Arab fish reserve of approximately 78 million tons a year. Arab self-sufficiency proportion of fish amounts to 102 per cent but a number of hindrances such as traditional methods of fishing, weakness of statistical information and variance in legislative impede the process of increasing fish production and marketing.
Arab organisation contributions
The Arab Organisation for Agricultural Development contributes to developing the sector of Arab fish wealth as it has prepared studies on tracks for developing the experiments and orientations of the Arab countries ns towards development of spheres of cooperation and coordination among Arab countries. The Arab meeting of senior officials in this field has also reviewed dangers of fish production and exposure of marine life to dangerous violations such as sea pollution resulting from chemical and petroleum materials thrown into the sea by hundreds of ships offshore Yemen and other Arab countries.
Yemen, pioneering in fish industry:
According to survey studies Yemen possesses a pioneering position in fish industry. There are government and private sector factories, among them the Mukalla factory that could manage to meet the local consumer needs and created a qualitative leap in caned products exports. In Yemen, crustacean are frozen and exported abroad. There are also two factories for producing fish powder the exporting capacity of which amounted to 103 tons in 2000.
The Arab meeting concluded in confirming the importance of developing fish trade among the Arab countries with the aim of realizing food security as the volume of fish industry amounts to $ one billion along with the availability of big opportunities for inter-trade.
The meeting considered the fish foreign trade in the Arab homeland as one of the distinguished sectors as statements on Arab exports for the period 1997-2000 point out to a noticeable improvement. The exported quantity rose from 824.74 thousand tons in 1997 to 925.10 thousand tons in 2000.