Fisheries of the state of Qatar
Total fish landings in Qatar increased from 1736t in 1980 to 7845t in 1992. Around 93% of this growth was due to an increase in the artisanal fleet. this increase was exemplified by increases in i) numbers of vessels from 174 to 422, ii) numbers of fishermen from 573 to 1962, iii) mean vessel power from 30 to 67 kW. The mean Qatar National Fishing Company (QNFC) CPUE during 1984 to 1991 was 112.4 kg.h-1. The QNFC trawlers ceased operation in 1992 when market share by value of catch had declined to 4.6%. The artisanal fleet continued to land a greater variety of high value species with landings reaching 6996t during 1993. Market 'consumption' of Siganus spp. generally increased during the spawning season. Females may release > 1 million eggs (mean - 400,000, ± 43,000) in a single spawning, generally between March and May. Spawning was later in 1993 than 1992 and is possibly linked to the lunar cycle. The main spawning grounds of Siganus are around islands, the coastline and coral reefs. Most fry were found in bays and lagoons near Wakrah and Dhakirah, no fry were found in mangroves. S. canaliculatus can reach maturity by year one (females at 14.5cm, males at 13.5cm total length) but most reach maturation in year two. S. canaliculatus is probably best aged by vertebral annuli, other studies also suggest it can easily withstand a salinities up to 58. Gulf salinity is approximately 42. Imposition of a closed season during April-May is recommended, particularly at sites close to the coastline and islands. Penaeus semisulcatus accounted for 97.5% by weight of total shrimp catches during this study. The mean annual CPUE for this species was 16.6 (S.D. 9.96) and 3.03 (S.D.2.2) kg.h-1 at Doha and Khore respectively (1992-93).