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Published: 26-Jun-12 16:38:00
Source: Trade Arabia
Related: 10-Apr-10 23:11:09
The Fisheries and Marine Resources Directorate (FMRD) in Bahrain is placing more artificial reefs into the sea to save the country's diminishing fish stocks. The Artificial Reef Project will be studied over four years and parts of the sea along the eastern coast of Bahrain have already seen benefits with more scuba divers than ever taking scuba diving holidays in the Middle Eastern region.
Bahrain’s depleting fish stocks are being helped by the placement of artificial reefs in several areas of the sea.
The Fisheries and Marine Resources Directorate (FMRD) is carrying out the project with the help of the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry which they are hoping will result in replenished fish stocks in the waters which will also attract many divers to the region on scuba diving holidays.
"Phase one of the project is already showing results as structures have already begun to attract fish to the area," explained the Director of FMRD, Dr Jassim Al Qaseer.
"We have been depositing near natural reefs, where there are good currents and the seabed is no more than 15 metres deep. These structures are supposed to give fish new homes to breed in and stay safe from predators.”
Parts of the ocean on the eastern coast of Bahrain, near Jarada Island, are showing signs of recovery after the first stage of the project was carried out earlier this year.
Over $2.65 million has been invested into the Artificial Reef Project and progress will be studied after each completed phase of the four-year project.
Dr Jassim Al Qaseer added: "The reason that the fish numbers have gone down is because reclamation has destroyed fish homes, so this project will give us the opportunity to bring back a once lost ecosystem. Over time these structures will attract coral onto them and in many years will be the building block for a new coral reef.
"It will take years before the artificial reefs become settled, but fish will come in this area and where there are small fish there will be big fish and this is a way of rehabilitating fish stocks."
Bahrain is Arabic for “two seas” because the country is home to fresh water springs that are found within the salty sea surrounding it.
This combination is said to be responsible for the incredible sheen that can be found on the sea’s pearls. Bahrain has been one of the top spots for pearl diving for centuries and it is now becoming one of the leading scuba diving destinations in the Middle East.
During scuba diving holidays in Bahrain, divers can explore sunken wrecks such as the Fifi, Fasht Najwah, Caisson, and Abu Thalma, as well as oyster beds and several beautiful coral reefs that are home to an abundance of incredible marine species. These include turtles, rays, clown fish, lion fish, grouper, snapper, crayfish, whale sharks and barracuda.
Popular destinations for scuba diving in the Middle East include Fujairah, Muscat in Oman, Aqaba in Jordan, the Musandam Peninsula in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Haifa and Akhziv in Israel.
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