Windy Weather in Sharjah

Inclement weather brings miseries to fishermen


By Jamil Khan | SHARJAH


THE unexpected change in the weather had brought multiple miseries to fishermen, who were barred to go into deep sea to catch fish for the next three days. fishermen

A couple of fishermen, who were seen mending their typical nets “gargol” used for catching fish, near the fish market were not happy to be away from the deep sea for the second time in the last 10 days.

“Only last week, we were to told not to go into the deep sea as sea was rough, and today again we were asked to be away for the next three days as tidal waves were as high as 15 feet,” said Adam Ismail Manak, a fisherman from Gujarat, India.

Manak, who had been fishing for the last 25 years in Sharjah, was part of the fishermen folk who went as deep as 30 miles into sea on 3 to 5-day trips and caught enough fish to make both ends meet.

During the last couple of weeks, the business has decreased. “We were unable to bear the cost of expenditure as brokers responsible to sell our catch sometimes do not justify our labour,” he said.

The brokers at the fish market had been paying Dhs200 to help in the sale of catch made by the fishermen. But most of the time, the fishermen were not happy with the skills of brokers, who took no interest in providing them extra benefit keeping the condition of market in the mind.

“During the good days when the business ran smoothly, every fisherman received Dhs200 after every trip, but now we manage to earn only Dhs50, which shows the miserable condition due to the fickle weather,” Manak said.

Gopal, who have been working on a fishing boat for the last one year, seemed unhappy as bad weather had affected the earnings.

Ghulam Rasool, another fisherman, who hails from Karachi, Pakistan, worked on different fishing boats during the last 23 years. He was optimistic and said that this situation is not new for him.

“The weather in this Gulf state will remain the same for the next two-three months. It is true we (fishermen) earned less than the peak season, but we would have time to repair our boats, mending fishing nets, overhauling the boat’s engine and other necessary works which we were unable to do during the peak season,” he said.

However, the fishermen who remain into the deep sea after the sudden change in the weather has to stay at different islands scattered throughout the Gulf such as Das, Zircu, Seir, Abu Musa and others.

“We are lucky that the UAE government provide all support to those who are into the deep sea,” one of the fisherman said.

Fish prices

Due to decreased visits of fishermen into the deep sea for the fishing, the prices of fish in the Sharjah Fish Market rose almost 30-50 per cent.

According to the vendors, the prices of almost all seafood items increased due to the short supply.

Homur and King Fish were sold on peak prices as a piece of Homur was sold for Dhs60 and approximately one kilogramme of King Fish were available against Dhs50, almost 50 per cent higher than the normal rates.

Paplate was available for Dhs30 to Dh40 per kg while Tuna for Dhs20 for one piece weighing less then one kilogramme, squid for Dhs15 per kg, Singhali fish for Dhs50 per kg, while small crab was sold at Dhs25 and prawns at Dhs40 per kg.

Ahmad, a vendor said that change in the weather has been bringing a lot of consumers, but the short supply of fish and other seafood items caused the surge in the prices. “But it will be normal as when the weather becomes warm in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

-Published in The Gulf Today | Feb 14, 2009

~ by jamilkhan on February 14, 2009.

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