KUWAIT: Kuwait Dive Team managed on Tuesday to lift several neglected fishing nets containing hundreds of dead and live fish, weighing four tons, found from the offshore locations of Kuwait Bay and Umm Al-Naml island. Chief of Kuwait Dive Team Waleed Al-Fadhel said that the team, which operates under the umbrella of Kuwait Voluntary Environmental Foundation, was able to lift the nets that were in various spots in the sea, ranging from two to 11 meters deep. Some nets were also close to the Doha station for water distillation and electricity generation, and they were removed by the patrols of the Public Authority of Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources, Fadhel explained. These nets were located in the shipping lanes leading to Shuwaikh Port and Doha Port, which causes a navigational hazard to boats, as well as to the power and water station, especially as it was of high density, he added.

Violators of environmental laws threw the nets out of greed for financial gain that were discarded due to fear of legal violations, he mentioned, saying that they contain sea creatures, several dead fish and live ones, causing pollution to the marine environment. He underlined that the team is doing their best to reduce the negative phenomena impacting the safety of marine environment, noting that these sites are vital for sea life growth, along with marine navigation movement. This caused the team to allocate five fully-equipped boats for rescue operations to collect waste from fishing nets, plastic, ropes, tires and ships that have been sunken. The team lifted 200 abandoned fishing nets with a total weight of 260 tons, taking 160 working days, Fadhel pointed out.

The development of small and large projects around the Kuwait Bay has caused a disturbance in the environmental balance in this vital area, which currently requires work to limit the negative effects of various activities on the Gulf, he stated. He hopes that the penalties for fishermen who violate the marine and environmental laws linked to fishing will be tougher to preserve the marine environment. He thanked the volunteers for informing them of the location of these nets, hoping that everyone would inform the General Directorate of Coast Guard, the patrols of the Public Authority of Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources, or the diving team about any waste or abandoned fishing nets in the sea. He also thanked the Kuwait Ports Authority for its nonstop support for the diving team to complete environmental projects.