Marine Life: A Promising National Wealth [Archives:2001/28/Business & Economy]

July 9 2001

Abdullah Abdu Ahmad
Along the 2000 km Yemeni coasts that extend eastward to Oman and Northward to Saudi Arabia, diverse marine lives exist, some of which are rarely found elsewhere.
Fishing has been practiced for a long time. Its methods and equipment have developed to make a sharp increase in fish production to meet the growing local as well as international demands. For this reason fishermen hold an important position among producers. Today, our fish exports rank second following oil exports Traditional fishermen live along the Yemeni coast and in islands.
There are about 41 thousand fishermen who depend on fishing for their and family members estimated at 201 thousand people. They own more than 10,000 boats and contribute to79% out of the total volume of fish production of 127 thousand tons.
As far as the commercial fishing is concerned, there are more than 122 fishing ships and boats which belong to foreign companies working to promote fish and marine exports to several destinations, chief among which are Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman, Emirates, Jordan, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Switzerland, China, Thailand, Hong Kong, etc. If investment in this field is organized properly, fish exports may occupy the first place among Yemen’s exports. Studies indicate the existence of more than 612 kinds of fish and marine life in the Yemeni waters. The present fish resource ca yield 320 thousand tons of fish every year. However, a number of problems and difficulties make proper exploitation of this wealth a difficult task. Some of these problems are:
* lack of a strong infrastructure to facilitate fishing and storage of fish.
* Random fishing by companies, with or without licensed, which affect fish locations forcing them to immigrate.
Therefore, our regional waters should be protected. There should also be an encouraging atmosphere for investment in this field , development of the infrastructure, encouragement of researches and studies on protection of our marine lives and their growth.

Some Species of our Available Marine life.
– Mollusca 625 kinds in the Red Sea / 322 kinds in the Arab Sea and Aden Gulf
– Crustacean 53 kinds in the Red Sea / 24 kinds in the Arab Sea and Aden Gulf / 45 kinds in Socotra Island.
– Fish 416 kinds in the Red Sea / 196 kinds in Socotra
– Turtles 5 kinds
– Sea mammals 20 kinds
– Sponge 3 kinds, etc.