Fishermen caught 100 sharks in Gaza waters


by Saud Abu Ramadan

Just two kilometers far from the southern Gaza Strip beach of Khan Younis city, fisherman Fouad Amoudi noticed this week a strange movement of high white water waves before he discovered that it was a flock of sharks passing by.
“I immediately called some of my colleagues and hurried up to catch the precious livelihood that was sent from Allah (God),” Amoudi told Xinhua with a wide smile on his face, adding “it is not an easy work to catch this huge number of sharks.”


Amoudi and five other fishermen took their fishing boats and primitive fishing nets, and sailed two kilometers into the sea and began to catch as much sharks as they can, then dozens of fishermen were called to help until they caught 100 sharks, each weighs 50 to 100 kilograms, he said.
“Although we do not have huge fishing ships and lack lots of fishing equipment, we really managed to catch this number of sharks,” said Amoudi, adding that “Israel closes the sea , Allah (God) sends us the livelihood for our children.”
Israel imposed a tight air and ground blockade on the Gaza Strip after Islamic Hamas movement violently seized control of the impoverished coastal enclave since 2007.
Israeli army waged three wars on the territory in 2009, 2012 and 2014 respectively following barrages of rockets were fired into Israel.
In relation to fishing in the Gaza Strip, before waging the large-scale military operation on the enclave last summer, the allowed area for fishing was only six miles and then was reduced to three miles.
After an Egyptian-brokered truce was reached in 2014, Israel expanded the fishing area to six miles again.
“After reaching the truce and allowing us to go fishing in six miles, the Israeli army naval forces never stopped chasing our boats, opening fire at our fishermen while fishing, killing and wounding fishermen, arresting them and damaging their boats,” said Amoudi.
Not only Amoudi, but also 3,000 fishermen all over the Gaza Strip hope that Israel would stop its assaults on fishermen and expand the fishing area to 20 miles as it used to be before the outbreak of the second Palestinian uprising, or Intifada in late September, 2000.
“We hope that the Israeli siege will be one day lifted and all fishermen will be able to go fishing in larger areas and will also be able to dive,” said Mahmoud, also fisherman, a friend of Amoudi, adding “the amounts of sharks we managed to catch are feeding hundreds of families.”
As soon as the news of catching 100 sharks off southern Gaza Strip coast, Gaza Facebook activists published on their pages photos of the caught sharks and wrote comments saying that “If Israel prevents fishermen from catching fish, sharks come to us to be caught.”
Sharks, mainly huge ones, are well-known kind of fish that is so dangerous and it attacks human beings. People who watched movies in the past about sharks, mainly the famous movie Great White Shark, can imagine how dangerous sharks are, mainly when they smell humans’ blood.
“It is a normal condition, an annual season comes from late March until early April, sharks and many fish come for mating near-shore, and then ends the season and those fish disappear from the coasts of Gaza,” said Nizar Ayyash, chairman of Gaza fishermen union.
He told Xinhua that “two weeks ago, people caught sight of a few sharks off the coasts of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, but on Tuesday more than 100 sharks appear in the same area,” adding “each shark weighs approximately 30-50 kilogram, and there is no threaten to lives of local people at the moment, because people do not swim in the sea due to the low temperature of the sea.”
The Gaza people call sharks “the Monster Fish.” They eat and cook it in different ways, because shark’s meat is rich in several kinds of vitamins that are good for people. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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