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Fish Harvest in Caspian Sea Down by 11 Percent

Anzali Port, Gilan Prov., Iran, May 10, 2000 (IRNA) -- The volume of fish harveste from the southern coasts of the Caspian Sea dropped by 11 percent in the past seven months (October 1999-April 2000) compared with the figure for the same period in the previous year.

Head of the Research Center for Fishery Sciences of Gilan Province, Mohammad Piri, told IRNA Wednesday that fish harvested in the three provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan during the said period amounted to 7,710 tons while the figure for the previous year was 8,630 tons.

As for the causes behind the dip in the volume of fish harvested from Caspian waters, the official said that research studies made by the center indicate the rise in the prices of fish in recent years has encouraged unauthorized fishing significantly.

Meanwhile, he added, "fishing continues to be conducted in small ponds and according to substandard methods while rivers in the three provinces traditionally the main sources of fish naturally grown have been severely destroyed due to neglect. All these factors have contributed to the reduction of the fish harvest in the southern costs of the Caspian Sea in recent years, the official further added.

He proposed that a plan for the development and restoration of major rivers flowing into the Caspian Sea be implemented in order to improve conditions for the growth of naturally raised fish along with hose artificially cultured.