News ID: 275832
Published: 0813 GMT October 21, 2020

Iran's parliament: Trawling in southern waters to be banned for two years

Iran's parliament: Trawling in southern waters to be banned for two years

Iranian lawmakers have decided to ban bottom trawling in southern Iranian waters for the next two years amid rising concerns about environmental harms caused by the intensive fishing activity.

Parliament’s Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf announced the decision on the halt of trawling in the Sea of Oman by retweeting a post of the parliament’s environment subcommittee on Wednesday, Press TV reported.

According to parliament’s environment subcommittee, authorities from the parliament and the Iranian ministry of agriculture agreed to ban trawling in southern waters to preserve marine resources.

The ban comes more than a week after Qalibaf and a number of parliament lawmakers paid a visit to Sistan and Baluchestan province in southeast Iran where they received complaints about excessive trawling in the Sea of Oman and its impacts on livelihood of traditional fishermen.

Trawling in the Sea of Oman and in the Persian Gulf has become a hotly debated issue in recent years especially in light of reports suggesting that Chinese boats and fishermen have been increasingly involved in the case.

Iran’s fishery authorities have been defending the presence of the Chinese in the southern waters, saying they have been helping the local companies to hunt large reserves of lanternfishes in the area.

Iran’s Fisheries Organization, which is a subsidiary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Jihad, issued a statement on Wednesday and confirmed that trawling would stop as of December to allow researchers to conduct marine life studies needed to determine the level of remaining resources.

However, Head of Iran Fisheries Organization Nabiollah Khunmirzaei suggested in an interview with the state TV that trawling would not be totally banned in southern waters, saying studies will determine futures plans for the fishing activity in Iran.

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