The fishing fleet of Kuwait numbers roughly 150 dhows (waterline of roughly 65 feet for a total length of 90 feet) and about 300 fishing boats with oversized outboard motors that only go out during the day…
Of these 150 dhows, about fifty are specialized in shrimp fishing during the four months of the season (September to December).
The crews and the captains, mostly of Egyptian origin, work almost six months non-stop per year for Kuwaiti ship owners.
Depending on the amount of fish brought in, the dhows go out to sea for three to five days, fishing dangerously close to Iranian territorial waters, reputed to be gorged with fish. Day and night, the nets are brought up every two hours. The heat in summer varies from 45°- 52° in the shade.
The fishermen consider a good shrimp catch at two baskets full (one basket represents just about 15 kilos) per net brought out of the water. Other fish get mixed up with shrimp in the nets: Sobaity seabream (Sparidentex hasta), Spinycheek grouper (Epinephelus diacanthus), Silver pomfret (Pampus argenteus), Black pomfret (Parastromateus niger), Yellowfin seabream (Acanthopagrus latus)…
The ships return to port between six and nine in the morning, but that does not mean that the captain and his crew are off duty: the catch must be unloaded in order to be sold immediately at the open outcry market; they must refill the ship with blocks of ice (100-150 per boat), stock up on food supplies, water and fuel (with line-up of two to three hours for the latter); and at four or five in the afternoon the boat heads out again.
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