Skip to comments.Fishing Industry to be Revitalized with Species from Saddam’s Palace Waters
Posted on 01/18/2009 1:12:06 PM PST by SandRat
BAGHDAD In the 1990s, Saddam Hussein drained Marsh Arab wetlands in southern Iraq to punish locals who had provided refuge to rebels. The results devastated entire villages whose economies relied mainly on the fishing industry.
Years later, water is flowing back to the wetlands, but the fish population is still depleted.
Multi-National CorpsIraqs agricultural team is collaborating with the Iraqi government in an effort to revitalize the fishing industry in areas where the fish population was decimated.
For the next month, the MNCI C9 agricultural team and Iraqi biologists will go fishing in Victory Base Complexs lakes, including the moat that surrounds Al Faw Palace.
Their catchthree rare species of male and female fishwill be transported to the state fish hatchery in Sewara, in Wasit Province, 65 kilometers south of Baghdad.
The biologists that looked at the fish at Al Faw Palace said that if they could capture a number of these fish, it would revolutionize the fishing industry in Iraq, so theyre very excited about it, said Col. Lyle Jackson, veterinary officer, C9 agriculture, MNC-I. These fish are extremely valuable.
The fish to be harvested are of the Bunni, Shabout and Kattan species, three of the types most desired by Iraqis.
The whole population [of Iraq] favors these types of fish, said Dr. Mewafak Raffo, veterinary poultry advisor, C9, MNC-I.
Raffo said the genetics of the fish on Victory Base Complex are ideal and cant easily be found anywhere else in the world, as they have been carefully selected and no one has touched, abused or attempted to catch them illegally.
The goal is to capture about 150 female fish and 300 male fish of appropriate size from each species by the end of January.
They [the Iraqi biologists] have got a way to get the roe out of the fish and then get the eggs super fertilized, so we get a very high percentage of fertile eggs and a very large hatch, Jackson said.
These fingerlings we produce from this project will be used to restock the marshes in the south that have been devastated by drought and by the previous government, Jackson said. Theyre depleted and so those people cant make a living fishing anymore.
Jackson, Raffo and the rest of the agricultural team are confident the projects success will be felt nationwide.
We can help the whole Iraqi economy with these fish, Jackson said.
Any idea if these 3 species are good game fish? I could send some tackle to friends in Iraq.
No idea, but any time fishing is good time fishing.
Terrific news! Anything to revitalize the Iraqi economy will help keep folks from becoming discouraged, and gravitating to terrorism.
and not a word from the green weenies.
That says a lot doesn't it.
While the fish in the second photo is just a carp, they can put up one heck of a fight and are extremely fun to catch.