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July 14, 2024

Calls for fishing licenses spark debate in Kuwait

KUWAIT

As calls for the urgent issuance of fishing licenses resound, Kuwait finds itself at a crossroads between economic necessity and environmental conservation. The debate has intensified following a prolonged suspension of these licenses spanning over four decades, with experts weighing in on the potential repercussions.

Specialized scientific opinions have emerged, cautioning against the immediate issuance of licenses due to concerns over the fragile state of fish stocks. These opinions emphasize that an increase in fishing activities could exacerbate existing shortages rather than alleviate them, posing a threat to marine biodiversity and food security.

The discourse has been led by prominent figures in the field, each offering insights into the complexities of the issue. Dhaher Al-Suwayyan, head of the Kuwaiti Fishermen’s Union, highlights the pressing need to address existing challenges faced by current license holders before entertaining the idea of granting new licenses. He underscores the dwindling fish stocks and the limited fishing areas, which render the prospect of additional licenses impractical.

Moreover, Al-Suwayyan underscores the detrimental impact of past decisions, such as reducing subsidies for diesel and restricting the entry of new workers, on the economic viability of the fishing profession. He stresses the need for comprehensive solutions that prioritize sustainability and address the concerns of all stakeholders involved.

Echoing similar sentiments, environmental expert Dr. Muhammad Al-Sayegh emphasizes the imperative of adopting a holistic approach that considers both economic and environmental factors. He advocates for rigorous environmental impact assessments and the exploration of alternative strategies, such as sustainable fish farming, to alleviate pressure on marine resources.

In light of these discussions, several key considerations have emerged, including the need for sustainable fisheries management practices, consumer awareness campaigns, and concerted efforts to promote dialogue and cooperation among relevant stakeholders.

As Kuwait deliberates its next steps, the nation faces a pivotal moment in its quest to balance economic growth with environmental preservation. With the stakes high and the challenges complex, the path forward demands careful deliberation and collaborative action to safeguard both the economy and the environment for future generations.

Arab times online

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