UMM AL QUWAIN // Fishermen in Umm Al Quwain are planning to put their annual profit on ice for the summer.
The emirate's Fishermen's Association has reported a profit of Dh578,000 for the financial year March 2011 to 2012. The money will be used to pay for a much-needed refrigeration facility and bakery.
The refrigeration building will be used to keep fish fresh for market, while the bakery will supply fishermen with bait, said Hussein Al Hajri, president of the association.
Mr Al Hajri spoke to more than 60 Emirati fishermen at the group's annual meeting on Sunday.
"The board of directors decided that Dh391,000 will be distributed among the fishermen as part of their returns on investment and the remaining would go to the fishermen's fund and be the start for the ice plant and bakery," he said.
"The ice plant is very important as the summer's high temperatures always affect the quality of our fish," Mr Al Hajri said.
Fishermen in the emirate have complained for years about the lack of adequate refrigeration and the problems this causes in the summer and have made several appeals to the federal government for help.
"We have always bought ice from the neighbouring emirates like Sharjah," said Ali Mohammed, a member of the association.
"If the association can afford to mobilise and we have our own ice plant, that would be a big boost to fishing in UAQ."
Mr Al Hajri said the association had also secured deals to buy fishing supplies and equipment including boats, spare parts, engine oil and fuel at discounted prices.