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A survey of the fisheries in the Jubail Marine Wildlife Sanctuary

A b s t r a c t: An assessment of the fishing activities, types of fishing gear used and species of fish caught in the Sanctuary area was made between March and May 1993. The fishing activities can be broadly classified into five groups, depending on the scale of the operation. These are: recreational fishing, shore-based activities, small-boat fishing, the traditional dhows and the large modern trawlers. Fishing methods seen in use in the area can be divided into five main categories; these are: fish traps, gill/entangling nets, surround nets, trawling and hook and line. The species of fish caught by each method are noted. General information on the way the fisheries are operated and managed and of recent changes in and possible future growth of the industry are included. There are a number of potential environmental problems associated with commercial fishing in the area, particularly when considering its potential as a marine sanctuary. The most apparent of these problems are the accidental capture of marine mammals and turtles, reduction in abundance and diversity of fish through the discarding of juveniles and non-commercial species, degradation of habitat and the mortality caused by lost or discarded fishing gear. Some technical measures to reduce the scale of environmental damage are suggested and the issue of legislation and management of fisheries in a sanctuary area is discussed. Some ideas for further studies in this field are proposed.


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