Krupp, F. & Fleming, R. (eds.), Establishment of a Marine Habitat and Wildlife Sanctuary for the Gulf Region. Final report of phase III. Jubail, Frankfurt a.M.

Sanctuary Fisheries Survey

A b s t r a c t: During March and April 1995, the initial 1992 fisheries survey was continued. Contact was made with the Marine Fishery Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water which is soon to publish its latest fisheries statistics bulletin. The fishery in the Gulf, including the Sanctuary area, is complex and not enough data was available during this study to determine its status. Over the period 1987 to 1993 total landings from the Saudi Arabian dhow and speedboat fishery have remained stable at approximately 12,000 tons per year, except during the Gulf War (1991) when they fell to 7,800 tons. Industrial landings have, however, dropped by 45 % over the same period. Catch per unit effort has fallen. Fishermen report that the economic status of the fishery is poor and it is likely that some over-fishing is occurring, particularly near the offshore islands. However, the fish stocks in other areas may be relatively strong with catches being limited by the efficiency of the fishing operations. A future monitoring program IS outlined for the continued study of fishing activities in the Sanctuary and for the specific monitoring of any areas where fishing is restricted.