Bahrain - Marine authorities are set to partner with an international organisation to create a proper database of fish stocks and near-extinct aquatic species in the country.

The GDN has exclusively learned that plans are in place to sign a partnership, which will last two years, between the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry’s Agriculture and Marine Resources Directorate.

It comes as a group of MPs asked the directorate to present rough statistics to draw a general picture of the nation’s marine species.

The GDN reported last week that the MPs also want the Supreme Council for Environment to monitor the formation of such a database to present an approximate count of the marine population, as well as measures to be taken in relation to excessive fishing, trawling, dredging, drilling and land reclamation operations.

However, Agriculture and Marine Resources Under-Secretary Dr Nabeel Abu Al Fateh told the GDN exclusively that plans were being discussed to partner with the FAO to look at the country’s marine species.

“The idea presented by Parliament is doable and we will partner with FAO over two years to prepare the database,” he said.

“However, it will not be an exact count of fish, instead, we will take the catch and through precise formulas manage to get the stock numbers.

“Our move with FAO will enable us to put a platform based on credible scientific information and with new technologies that we will acquire and through modules we will get (an approximate) count of each species.

“This database will also help us know the locations and seasons before any fishing or work permit is issued.”

In September 2019 an immediate halt to sand extracting and dredging north of Muharraq and in the Jarradah island was ordered, until a comprehensive study is conducted on the extent of damage caused to coral reefs and other marine habitats.

A nationwide ban on trawling came into effect in November 2018 in a bid to revive the country’s fish stocks, while in 2007 Bahrain designated an area 70km north of Muharraq – known as Hayr Bulthama – as a natural reserve.

The trawling ban was introduced after it emerged the country’s fish stocks had dropped by 90 per cent since 2004.

The ban also included a prohibition on the export of 14 species of sea life, including fresh or frozen fish and shrimp, a reduction in the number of fishermen allowed on each dhow or small fishing boat, and a training scheme for Bahraini fishermen.

Other efforts have included the 2012 creation of 10 artificial reefs at secret locations, by submerging 2,500 specially designed, hollow concrete balls on the seabed.

An underwater theme park, Dive Bahrain, complete with a submerged Boeing 747, featuring artificial reefs to attract marine life, has also been opened.


© Copyright 2019

Copyright 2019 Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (

Disclaimer: The content of this article is syndicated or provided to this website from an external third party provider. We are not responsible for, and do not control, such external websites, entities, applications or media publishers. The body of the text is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis and has not been edited in any way. Neither we nor our affiliates guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views or opinions expressed in this article. Read our full disclaimer policy here.