Friday, 29 August 2014

Gaza fishermen reap rewards as restrictions eased


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian fishermen in Gaza say they are already seeing the benefits of an extended fishing zone, with thousands of kilograms of fresh produce caught only days after Tuesday's ceasefire agreement.

Fishermen say they have brought home a varied catch of sardines, squid, shrimps, crabs and lax to Gaza's markets since Tuesday, with some varieties of fish unavailable for years due to Israeli restrictions.

Muhammad Abu Arab, a local fisherman, told Ma'an that "when these huge amounts of fish are available the demand increases and we sell it for cheaper prices. We can hardly wait to be allowed to fish 9 or 12 miles (from the coast)."

"We could not even see these types of fish when we were allowed only three miles out," he added.

Fisherman Faraj Qasem said he now sells shrimp for 35 shekels per kilo, compared to previous prices of up to 70 shekels due to a scarcity in produce.

"We carried one thousand kilograms of fish on the boat today," Qasem said, adding that this quantity and variety of fish is simply unavailable 3 miles from the coast. more

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