Qatar’s open seawater temperature touched a high 37 degrees Celsius yesterday as mercury shot up to a record high of the season. The country recorded the maximum temperature of the season yesterday – 48 degrees Celsius.
This is the second time Qatar’s territorial water temperature is touching the high point since 1998. With the temperature of the sea water going up, fish catch is fast dwindling.
Fishermen, who ventured into the sea on Monday after a gap of two weeks, complained that their catch was reduced by a quarter from what it was in April and May.
Experts in the Supreme Council for Environment and Natural Reserves (SCENR) described any increase in the sea water temperature from 35 degrees Celsius as ‘abnormal’.
The year 2006 was the last time when Qatar’s territorial waters crossed the 35 degrees mark (36.5 degrees) when massive quantities of fish and invertebrates, including the endangered turtle species, had washed up on Qatar’s shores. Early weeks of June witnessed huge numbers of dead fish and turtles washing up on the shores of Al Khor, Mesaieed, Al Messeilah, Um Alhoul, Al Wakra, Ras Abu Fontas and Al Jassayiah.
Studies have proved that Qatar’s marine coastal belt is facing unprecedented pressures. The salinity and temperature of the sea water are the highest in the Middle East, especially in Qatar. While the average salinity in the Middle East is 40 ppm (part per million), the rate is 55ppm in Qatar. This is against the 35 ppm of world average.
Studies conducted by the Environment Study Centre of Qatar University have revealed that more than 20 species of fish had disappeared from the sea water here in the past few years. It was also proved that the growing temperature of open seawater is posing a serious threat to the country’s unique coral deposits. Qatar’s coastal marine areas are home to many ecologically sensitive species, including sea turtles. Of the total eight species of sea turtles found across the world, four are in Qatar. Shrimp is another species that has vanished from Qatar’s coastal water since 1992.
Soon our fish will be cooked!
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