YR 1.8 billion for fish port in Al-Shahr [Archives:2004/739/Business & Economy]

May 20 2004

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
Navigation sources have in the governorate of Hadramout expected the completion of the project for building the Fish Port in the city of al-Shahr at the end of this year. The project is to be an encouragement to investors to invest their capitals in projects related to utilization of fishery and development of fish wealth. The project represents the Yemeni government keenness on finding a balance between the population growth and economic resources required for the people.
The sources have made it clear that the cost of the project of building he port amounts to one billion and eight hundred million riyals to be funded by the government. Presently the work is underway to finish the two quays of the port, one of which is 1200 meters long and the second 650 meters. Width of each of the two wharfs is seven meters and with depth of about 6.5 meters so that to be capable of receiving 10 thousand fishing boats.
The same sources said the second phase of the project was to include the construction of service utilities for fishermen to provide their boats with fuel and maintenance and a center for training and guidance to receive 60 tons of fish in order to help remarket them to local markets or for export to foreign markets.
Accomplishment of this project is within the government's efforts to develop services of infrastructure for investors in the fish sector. Survey studies estimate that Yemen possesses a huge reservoir of fish wealth that is able to fishing about 840 thousand tons a year covering a coastal area of more than 2500 km long on the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. Sea studies also refer that the proportion of fishing is still low if compared to the volume of reservoir in the Yemeni regional waters. For instance the total production of fish last year amounted to around 195 thousand tons, 25 thousand tons of which for commercial companies, whereas fresh and frozen fish exports amounted to 70 thousand tons at the end of 2003, and 25.759 thousand tons in 2002, 19 thousand tons for commercial companies.
Fish wealth sector is considered among the promising sectors in Yemen as it is one of the strategic elements of food security, especially following the unification of the country in 1990 that resulted in extension of Yemeni coasts.
The long coasts of Yemen and its possession of more than 150 islands with a great reservoir of fishes and marine life estimated at more than 300 species have exposed this wealth to tampering and misuse, according to the agricultural committee at the parliament. The committee's report accused officials of sea monitoring and inspection of conniving with commercial companies for misusing the fish wealth and heedlessness towards operations of sweeping away and destruction caused by commercial fishing boats and some traditional local fishing boats. The report has mentioned further about random and unplanned fishing processes of marine life existing in the regional waters by using destructive means of fishing by commercial companies and that have caused marine environment pollution as a result of throwing away hundreds of tons of dead fish into the sea and that has caused extinct of great numbers of fish and marine life.
The parliament agricultural, fish and water resources committee also disclosed that licensed commercial companies were committing violations of articles of agreements concluded with the ministry of fish wealth. Meanwhile, owners of traditional fishing boats are exposed to firing by owners of violating fishing boats that carry out fishing to be then smuggled to their countries without completing necessary measures for licensed fishing.
To encounter those violations the ministry of fish wealth worked for activating the role of the monitoring and inspection in the regional waters after reconsideration legislation and regulations organizing the fishing operation, along with qualifying and training sea monitors and planning for pursuing developed ways for monitoring via satellites.
The ministry also sought for controlling those infringing the fishing methods in the regional waters through effecting common cooperation with all concerned and relevant parties related to sea affairs. More important of those measures are the coast guard police that have been recently established to control infiltrators and terrorist elements, and that is for protection of national and food security. Sources at the ministry of fish wealth say the outside demand for Yemeni fish is increasing, especially those of high quality kinds and therefore there are now many researches conducted for improving fishing on scientific rules defining realistic potentials, fish reservoir, average of its growth, its species and geographical distribution as well as fixing seasons and sites of fishing.
The Yemeni government has also taken many measures for utilization of the fish wealth such as the implementation of a center for oceanology project in Aden, the project for developing traditional fishing in the Red Sea and a project for development of marine life at a cost exceeding $163 million. In addition the government encouraged the private sector to invest in this field and developing the industry of fish products and caning in response to meting needs of the local market and evolvement of exports.
Among the most important projects implemented at the end of 2001 was the fourth fish project at a cost of $39.5 million that was meant for increasing the quantity of caught fish through improvement of methods of fishing and supporting centers of research and preservation of marine environment and building coastal facilities for fishermen consisting of seven units in Hadramout and Muhra, in addition to factories of ice and water and cooling and electricity and other basic services.