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Gaza fishermen catch 73 giant tuna fish in the Mediterranean

Gaza fishermen obtained large quantities of fish after being prevented from sailing for 18 days due to the occupation’s closure of the sea, 3 September 2020 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Gaza fishermen obtained large quantities of fish after being prevented from sailing for 18 days due to the occupation’s closure of the sea, 3 September 2020 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Since the start of the current fishing season, Palestinian fishermen in Gaza have caught 73 giant tuna fish from within the heavily-guarded six nautical mile fishing limit off the Gaza coast, Quds Press reported on Wednesday.

Israel prevents Gazan fishermen from sailing more than six to 12 nautical miles in different parts off the Gazan coasts. The Israeli navy has also been known to chase fishermen and open fire at them.

Coordinator of the Fishermen’s Committee in Gaza Zakaria Baker announced: “Using their simple fishing equipment, Gazan fishermen caught 73 giant tunas in a six-mile zone off the besieged enclave’s coast.”

Speaking to Quds Press, he noted: “Tuna fish do not live in the Mediterranean, but pass through it swiftly.”

The last fisherman who caught tuna was Adel Abu-Riyala on Wednesday, weighing around 100 kilograms and sold for NIS 2,500 ($735).

“This proves that Gazan fishermen are professionals, but they suffer as a result of the Israeli restrictions imposed on them,” Baker explained. According to Baker, there are about 4,000 Gazan fishermen working at sea catering for around 60,000 people.

Israel prevents Gaza from using its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which measures 200 nautical miles (375 kilometres). As a result of the Oslo Accords, Israel agreed to allow Gazan fishermen to sail up to 20 nautical miles, but this agreement never came to pass.

READ: Gaza fishermen’s large hauls, 18 days after Israel stops access to the sea 

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