Increase in Fishing Zone to Nine NM Brings No Benefit to Gaza’s Fishers

GAZA, April 4, 2016 (WAFA) – Head of the Palestinian Fishermen Syndicate Nizar Ayyash Monday said the recent agreement to extend the fishing zone off some parts of the Gaza coast from six nautical miles to nine has brought no benefit for the fishermen.

The agreement reached between the Palestinian Authority and Israel to extend the fishing zone to nine nautical miles took effect early Sunday morning, the Palestinian civil administration said.

Ayyash told WAFA the extension included some parts where fish is not found because it is a sandy area with no rocks that are vital for fish reproduction.

He said the decision would prove beneficial only if the extension stretched along the length of Gaza’s coast and not only the south.

Head of the civil administration media department Muhammad Maqadma told WAFA the agreement in its first stage includes the area between the Gaza valley to the Egyptian boarders, south of the Gaza Strip.

The fishing zone will remain within six nautical miles north of Wadi Gaza.

According to the Fishermen’s Syndicate in Gaza, over 4,000 fishermen provide for over 50,000 individuals.

In a weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian Territories, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) said the illegal closure, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has imposed a tightened blockade since 2007 after Hamas won the democratic legislative election and took over power in the Strip.

For nine consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world.”

“This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 1.8 million people,” it added.

PCHR stressed that, “Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (31 December 2015 – 06 January 2016).”