Fishermen Riot in Al-Mukalla [Archives:2007/1038/Local News]

April 2 2007

AL-MUKALLA, April 1 ) More than 120 fishermen demonstrated and staged a sit-in on Saturday, March 24, before the Al-Mukalla governorate building in protest against extra taxes imposed on them.

The demonstrations were followed by riots and fishermen closed the nearby hospital, preventing people from getting inside and further broke the door of the Al-Mukalla Central Market. They also took by force fish and money belonging to three sellers. Another seller was injured when a fisherman hit him with a gauge.

In their letter sent to Hadramout governor Abdulqadder Hilal, the fisherman asked that the extra tax, which amounts to 3% according to Law number 2 of 2006, be lifted.

Reacting to the incident, the Hadramout governor and Minister of Fish Wealth held talks with fishermen representatives and both officials confessed the existence of mistakes and promised to adjust them.

Al-Mukalla Fishermen Association Chairman Abdullah Badawood noted the problem is not that of the added tax but the law and its bylaws relating to artificial fertilization, which affect bottom drag trawling and the reproduction of fish and inturn reduce profits.