The fishing harbour in Zallaq could see massive expansion under a new proposal that aims to help fishermen and boost the country’s food security.The Southern Municipal Council is hoping to triple the size of the harbour and incorporate hi-tech facilities in an effort to turn it into a hub for fishermen across the country.Two weeks ago, the council had approved plans to designate a part of the Zallaq harbour as a central market for fishermen.“The aim is to allocate a budget for expanding the harbour’s space and utilities,” said the council’s financial, administrative and legislative committee chairman Talal Al Basheer, who is spearheading the plan.“There is not enough space for fishermen to dock their vessels. A number of them are parking their boats on roads and in cramped spaces between their homes.“This ruins the beauty of the neighbourhood and limits parking spaces in residential areas.

The fishing vessels could get damaged, or worse, cause fatal accidents as a result.”“The budget will aid in expanding the harbour and equipping it with modern tools to help fishermen repair and maintain their boats.”In recent years, Zallaq has witnessed a spike in population and continuous expansion has turned the village into a tourist hotspot, attracting visitors from all over Bahrain.“Once expanded, the harbour will be able to accommodate up to 500 boats, up from the current capacity of 112,” Mr Al Basheer added.“It will provide ample space for boats of all sizes, while maintaining a clean environment for tourists.

It will also create a centralised zone for boat repairs and maintenance reducing the number of vessels parked in residential areas.“I believe the move will encourage more fishermen to designate Zallaq as their go-to-fishing spot, potentially opening more jobs in the area for the youth.”The GDN had reported on the recently approved proposal to designate the harbour as a fishing central market.

The council found that many local fishermen ventured into the sea as early as 3am to be able to reach Manama or Hidd and sell their fresh catch-of-the-day, owing to lack of space for people to gather and share the catch in Zallaq.“These proposals are aimed at encouraging local fishermen to pursue their career and provide food resources for the nation,” said Mr Al Basheer.“If initiated, the harbour will be a major boost for everyone in the area and neighbouring villages.”There are 1,500 active fishing licences in 

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