Yemen exports more than 3 million tons of marine life in 2006 first quarter [Archives:2006/941/Business & Economy]

April 27 2006

During this year's first quarter, Yemen's total volume of marine life production and export of various species and fish was more than three million tons worth more than $6 million.

Ghazi Ahmed Saleh, General Manager of Aden governorate's Fish Wealth Office, explained that last year's production was more than 19 million tons of fish products and marine life exported to a number of Arab and foreign countries.

In related developments, Yemeni coast guard forces foiled four sea piracy attempts in Aden Gulf and Arabian Sea territorial waters in the period between March 1 and mid-April.

Additionally, fishermen from the Hodeidah governorate town of Al-Khawkha have complained that Egyptian industrial boats are sweeping their fishing nets with their fish catch, thereby causing them losses estimated at millions, let alone marine life destruction due to industrial sweeping by means of sweeping and sucking up fish wealth.

The fishermen expressed their astonishment regarding Ministry of Fish Wealth officials' silence about what is happening to Yemen's fish wealth in Red Sea regional waters. They affirmed that the Egyptian boats sail near Red Sea shores at Khawkha port, Umzahar, Sahari, Al-Nasser and Salif.

They appealed to the ministry to respect its commitment to Parliament two years ago to not renew any contract with foreign, regional or even local firms using artificial fishery methods in Red Sea regional waters so that Yemen's shores will not empty of fish due to that fishing style. The fishermen added that the fish catch is dwindling in comparison to previous years because of such Egyptian boats' fishing methods in the Red Sea.

Abdulhadi Khidr, director-general of Hodeidah's Fish Wealth Office, said no agreement has been signed for two years with Arab or foreign firms practicing industrial fishing, adding that some Egyptian boats present in the Red Sea are affiliated with a Yemeni investor and registered in his name, according to which he obtained a fishing license.

He confirmed that his office fairly compensated fishermen whose nets and catch were damaged and that ministry monitors are watching the Yemeni investor's Egyptian boats.