x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

UAQ 72-berth port plans to be a haven for fishing industry

The port will replace the marina which is too small and in need of repair.

UMM AL QUWAIN // Building work on a 72-berth port for the emirate's fishing fleet will start in a few days.

The harbour will be a huge boost to the emirate's fishing industry, said Hussein Al Hajri, the president of the UAQ Fishermen's Association.

"The news of the new fishing port has been welcomed by fishermen and residents, who are all keen to see this old profession kept alive," he said.

The department of planning and surveying has allocated land near the existing port and the fish market to build a new ice factory to ensure catches are kept fresh, Mr Al Hajri said.

"The new port is now in the best place, where fishermen returning with their daily catches will have easy access to the market and the ice factory," he said.

Sheikh Saud bin Rashid, the Ruler of UAQ, ordered the building of the port earlier this week.

Saeed Manjousi, an Emirati fisherman, said the port will be a welcome replacement for the 35-year-old marina that was badly in need of repair.

"We believe the new port will solve most of our problems, like looking for places for mooring," he said. "Some fishermen have been forced in the past to pull their boats on to the beach because there were not enough places at the marina."

Mr Manjousi said 72 berths was still small compared with the large number of fishermen in the emirate and asked that authorities consider expanding the port in the near future.

Khalid Rashid Al Ali, another Emirati fisherman, said the port would enhance their pride in the "emirate's oldest and most popular profession".

"Despite all our success stories and rapid development in our country, fishing is the profession of our fathers and grandfathers and is still alive and a source of livelihood to our generation," he said.