In a bid to increase the depleting stock of hamour, the country’s most popular fish, the authorities have released some 50,000 fingerlings into Qatar’s territorial waters.
The initiative aims at enhancing the stock of fish in general and hamour in particular. The hamour has been exposed to over-fishing and selective harvesting over the years as the favourite seafood of the locals and expatriates.
Mohamed Mahmoud Flamarzi, Director of the Fisheries Development Department at the Ministry of Environment, said the project was being implemented in collaboration with the Bahraini Ministry of Fisheries.
The first phase of the project involved release of 50,000 hamour fingerlings, each weighing five grams. The total cost of the project was estimated at QR170,000, he said.
As part of the first phase, which was completed in a year, fingerlings were spawned in aquaculture hatcheries in Bahrain and were subsequently transported to Qatar.
The fingerlings were released from Al Khor harbour, which was selected as the releasing point due to its proximity to coral reefs and fishing grounds as well as the existence of the necessary facilities.
The second phase of the five-year project will be implemented next year.
The project will help the fishery sector in maintaining and enriching the country’s biodiversity, said the official.
Millions of fingerlings were spawned and released into Qatar’s territorial waters for improving the fish stocks during 1998-2000 and in 2002, from Al Dhekheira and Al Safeliya.
The research unit of the fisheries department will monitor the survival and growth of the fingerlings.
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