Fishermen in Al Wakrah are seen in this file picture.
Most of Qatar’s fishermen have ventured out for work in the last 48 hours, apparently prompted by improving weather conditions, it is learnt.
There has been no improvement in the catch, a condition that is expected to continue for at least three more weeks, say sources.
Many fishermen had reportedly remained indoors in view of the hot weather and a poor catch. Now, things seem to be picking up, albeit slowly. The weather, say fishermen, is still far from ideal but is showing signs of improvement.
Speaking to Gulf Times, members of the fishing community said they cannot afford to remain indoors for long and have to cater to requirements of customers, mainly suppliers at the Central Market.
“Going by what we have experienced over the last few years, it would take a minimum of 20 days for any significant improvement in the catch,” said Francis, a senior member of the fishing community.
Last year, the catch improved only in the third week of October after three relatively dull months, recalled another fisherman.
While acknowledging that business was “poor” for more than a month on account of a steep fall in catch and exorbitant prices, wholesalers said they still have to ensure adequate supplies to major customers, both in the private and public sectors, including hotels, restaurants and government organisations.
Such supplies are usually decided on a quarterly basis, it is understood.
Vessels berthed at the fishing harbours of Dukhan, Shamal, Al Khor and Doha for some time had to wait until Saturday to resume work as the fishermen monitored the situation and played it safe. “This (the delay in operations) was mainly because there was no sign of any improvement in the catch anywhere,” said a boat operator from Shamal.
Eventually, many of them decided to venture out as they felt waiting any further might prove detrimental to their interests.
Though there were reports of chances of strong winds along the country’s coast a few days ago, by and large the conditions remained moderate and conducive for fishing, the sources pointed out.
Meanwhile, prices continued to be high throughout last week and there were relatively fewer retail customers even during the festival season at the main markets, including Doha Central Market. Supplies from the other GCC countries were also reportedly inadequate, the sources added.
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