Fisheries department releases 20,000 baby hamours into Qatari waters

  • 1 month ago
Baby Hamour fish
Aquatic Research Centre committed to play a strategic role in developing nation’s fisheries wealth. 
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment’s Fisheries Department, in co-operation with the General Directorate of Coasts and Border Security has released 20,000 baby hamours in the Qatari waters. 
The fish is considered among the first produce of the Aquatic Research Centre (ARC) as part of a programme to enhance marine life in the country.
The name Hamour is used to describe a number of fish, including the brown spotted reef cod but is also given to 11 different species commonly found in the Gulf waters.
The ARC of the Ministry of Municipal and Environment opened in January this year at Ras Matbakh in the Al Dhakhira district. 
The Centre is key to the country’s food security and is expected to play a strategic role in developing Qatar’s fisheries wealth. 
The ARC initially started with a production capacity of two million larvae of fish in one year. The production capacity is expected to gradually increase as it targets to reach over 20 million larvae of fish within three years.
The Centre’s infrastructure houses various units including the administrative building, scientific and water laboratories, a section related to fish farming, nursery and fish fattening units.
At ARC’s inauguration, the press was briefed about the Centre’s tasks and role in the field of water research, developing the fisheries sector, providing technical support and contributing to achieving self-sufficiency, food security and the annual productive capacity of marine resources.
The Centre has strategic programs for the development of the fish wealth sector, fish farming and aquaculture, research on the marine environment and the protection of natural resources within the framework of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the State’s plans to advance the fishing sector with ARC playing a strategic role in developing country’s fisheries wealth.
The Centre has the latest technologies and is tasked with carrying out research in cooperation with Qatar University on fisheries and how to create the best environment to ensure they thrive. Research on how to save endangered water species and fish farming projects are also linked to the Center in order to obtain the best results.
ARC is expected to serve multiple goals that will benefit the environment and the economy and helps supply fish farms with certain types of fish to serve local demand. Plans are also in place to grow freshwater fish such as Tilapia and other to reach self-sufficiency.
According to the Fisheries Department, the current self-sufficiency from fresh fish is 75 percent, and set to get to a 100 percent with the launch of the fish farms projects.
Fishery records on the different species caught in the territorial waters are properly maintained and there was a clear indication that the amount of Hamour being caught was rapidly declining and had dropped sharply since 2008. The decline of the culturally important and prized hamour fish prompted Qatar to start a program to farm the fish which has turned out to be highly successful.
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment in conjunction with various stakeholders plans to save endangered fish and develop the country’s fisheries wealth.