Aqaba fishing stocks down

Pollution, over-fishing and the destruction of marine habitat are driving commercial fisheries in the port city of Aqaba, 250km south of Amman, to the brink of collapse, environmentalists and fishermen said.

‘Immediate action must be taken to stop the ongoing depletion of fish stocks and damage to the eco-system,’ said Fadi Sharaiha of the Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan.

According to IRIN news service, Sharaiha urged authorities to implement strict measures against vessels that dump garbage and toxic waste in the sea.

Halting the destruction of coastal habitats, taking steps to control and reduce pollution, and preventing the use of dynamite in fishing would help to restore productivity in the area, he said.

‘In a few years’ time, there will be no fish to catch in Aqaba port,’ said Sharaiha.

Fears are growing that the fishing community may lose its livelihood, which would have profound social consequences with the resulting high unemployment.

For the past few months, tens of fishermen have stopped casting their nets into the nearly empty waters. Out of the 147 fishermen authorised to venture into the gulf, more than 80 have permanently anchored their boats on the shores.

Source: Trade Arabia