By Ramesh Mathew/Staff Reporter
A number of fishermen from Al Wakrah, Al Shamal and Al Khor resumed duties yesterday evening following a lull in their operations due to windy conditions in coastal areas.
Unfavourable conditions since Wednesday evening had forced many fishermen to stay away from work, resulting in a “steep” rise in fish prices at retail outlets, according to sources.
Qatar has been experiencing strong winds across inshore and offshore areas over the past few days, with sea warnings being issued by the Met department due to the conditions.
The situation is expected to improve now as the weather office has forecast that the windy conditions will subside by this evening. However, it is unlikely to last long as another spell of strong winds is expected from Wednesday until Friday. The Met department has urged people to avoid sea activities during this period.
Fishermen, who are already coping with the annual seasonal restrictions on fishing in the country, are now keen to make the most of this “window of opportunity” they have got in the form of a letup in windy conditions.
Speaking to Gulf Times yesterday, a senior member of a fishing group from a northern area said a large number of boats would remain in the sea until Wednesday in view of the expected improvement in the weather. “We hope to make the most of the brief spell of improved weather,” he said.
During the annual restriction period, boats that use baskets can travel only thrice a month for fishing duties and cannot spend more than 12 days a month at sea. Each visit cannot last more than 96 hours, it is understood.
For boats using nets, up to 14 days of duties is allowed, regardless of the duration of their stay in the sea for each visit, say sources.
However, the resumption of fishing activities may not lead to a significant drop in fish prices, at least over the next fortnight, say veteran fishermen.
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