The marine fishery sector is prominent in Qatar, and during the last decade fish catch doubled to about 17,700 tonnes in 2008. Fish self-sufficiency in Qatar is estimated at 96% and the average annual fish consumption is about 12 Kg per capita, roughly the same as the world average. Future prospects for fisheries may be limited by more intensive upstream fishing, as well as potential impacts of climate change on marine life in the Gulf region. Hence, the QNFSP is planning for environmentally and economically sustainable options for integrated marine and aquaculture fisheries.
An integrated national strategy for the development of the fisheries sector is being developed which includes, monitoring of marine fish stocks; projected impacts of future climate change; development of rational spatial and temporal fishing regimes; infrastructure development and provisioning of fishing equipment; private sector financial support including grants and soft loans; establishment of aquatic fish farming such as in Ras Matbakh; and development of joint fishery research programmes at the GCC regional level. Food nutrition security polices need to be developed to encourage fish consumption as it is an important source of protein and minerals and could compensate for any limits on livestock production in Qatar.
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