'Big fall' in catch of king fish
April 19 2017 09:10 PM
A fish stall in Doha
A fish stall in Doha

There has been a 'big fall' in the catch of king fish in recent months, say sources in the fishing industry, expressing concern that there may a further drop owing to the annual restrictions on fishing in Qatar's waters.

Every year, fishing activities in the country are regulated between April 1 and May 31.

Elaborating on the issue, the sources said the "low catch" could be attributed to strong winds affecting offshore areas on a number of occasions in recent times. "It has been more than usual this year," said one of them.

There is a 'steep fall' in the king fish catch whenever strong winds prevail for a 'relatively long duration' across the Qatar coast, according to a fisherman who has been working in Qatar for more than 30 years.

King fish is among the most sought-after varieties for both locals and expatriates.

The fisherman said while the period following the annual restrictions usually see a good haul of king fish, this time the community is a bit wary that the situation may not improve significantly as windy conditions are affecting the country frequently.

He claimed that fishermen have been observing a fall in the catch since November last year and the shortage is felt even more now due to the annual restrictions.

Unlike some other varieties of fish, king fish and tuna are caught using only large nets or specially made poles with hooks tied to them, queries found.

Owing to the yearly restrictions, each fishing vessel is allowed a maximum of 12 days of operations a month in the sea. Also, they cannot venture out for more than 96 hours at a stretch, it is learnt.

The restrictions are put in place as the two months starting from April are considered to be the breeding season for different varieties of fish, including king fish.

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