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Al Quseir Fishing Centre. Pt. 2: Establishment of the cooperative fishing centre and its socio-economic implications









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    Report on the exploratory socio-economic survey of the Egyptian Red Sea fisheries 1979
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    The Egyptian Red Sea coast is approximately 1630 km in length. The main fishery centres are Suez, Hurghada and Quseir on the western side. El-Tor fishing centre, located on the eastern side of the Gulf of Suez was under Israeli control when this report was being prepared. The yearly average catch of the Red Sea fisheries has been estimated at approx. 16000 tons. The fishing fleet consists of 287 motorized boats powered by engines from 8-400 HP, and 158 sail and row boats. The medium and larger m otorized boats use trawling and purse seine or both either in or out of the Gulf of Suez. Boats is marketed fresh (iced) and in small parts salted and dried. Pricing is considered a complicated problem, both for fishermen and for the authorities. Inadequate pricing has given rise to black market of fish. The total number of fishermen is about 3700. The Suez Fishing Centre area is the densest followed by Quseir and Hurghada. The majority of fishermen have no other occupation. Some owners of motor ized boats participate in the fish trade. Also, the big fish traders own all or part of some fishing boats. The standard of living is rather low, especially for small owners and labourers. Most of the fishermen depend mainly upon fish traders to supply them with loans to finance their business and personal requirements. There is a trend among the fishermen to leave fishing for other activities for the following reasons: the pollution caused by oil prospecting operations; security regulations hav e limited fishing operations; the prohibition of fishing operations near some islands restricts fishing areas, especially for the small boats which cannot operate far from the coast; lack of a rational fish pricing systems; the inadequacy of social services and relatively high wages in mining, construction and touristic projects which entice fishermen to leave fishing activities; lack of proper facilities on the landing sites hampers fishing operations. The Fishermen Cooperative Societies (FCS) in Suez, Hurghada and Quseir are considered as the main fishermen's organizations. However, the activities of these FCS arc very limited mainly due to lack of funds. Because of the numerous authorities supervising the Red Sea fisheries, an overlap occurs which, coupled with lack of coordination, given rise to conflicting decisions and inadequate use of available resources.
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    Socio-economic survey of the Al Quseir fishing region. Pt. 1: Prior to the establishment of the Cooperative Fishing Centre 1979
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    Project RAB/77/008 aims at developing small-scale fisheries and improving the fishermen's standard of living, in order to discourage them from leaving the industry, to create new employment opportunities and to preserve the fishing communities. The basic approach to be used to achieve the Project goals was the establishment of a cooperative fishing Centre, which could be adopted as a model to be used elsewhere, with the cooperation of the concerned authorities. Al Quseir was chosen, after a soci o-economic survey was carried out, to be the site, of the Cooperative Fishing Centre in Egypt. The requirements for establishing the Centre and the steps to be followed in its establishment are set out in detail in this survey report.
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    Final report 1982
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    This report describes the activities of a master fisherman who worked with the project from October 1979 to April 1982. He analyzed the operations of purse seiners operating in the Gulf of Suez and recommended improvements which could substantially reduce the number of fishermen employed on each boat; he participated in a survey of conditions in West Sinai following its restoration to Egypt and made recommendations for future developments in the area; he carried out trials in the PDRY with botto m long lines and ring nets, the latter being very effective for catching 'flat herring’; and he carried out repairs to the project vessel in the Sudan. His main activities were concerned with the establishment of a community fishing Centre in Quseir, Egypt, being intimately involved not only with experimental fishing and training of fishermen but also with the physical and administrative structure of the Centre. He introduced gill netting into the area, demonstrating very clearly the potential o f this type of fishing and was actively concerned in the establishment of a number of very successful fishing camps on the Egyptian Southern Red Sea coast. Recommendations are made about the future development of the Centre both as regards its organization and the technical considerations involved.

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