The first ever trawl survey of Lebanese waters is underway Photo: GFCMThe first ever trawl survey of Lebanese waters is underway Photo: GFCM

For the first time ever, a scientific survey on fisheries resources will be carried out to discover what lies at the bottom of the sea in Lebanon.

After arriving in Lebanon following three days voyage from Antalya, Turkey, the crew of a research vessel sailing under the United Nations flag, is now preparing to embark on the first experimental trawl survey in Lebanese waters.

The study is a collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture of Lebanon, the National Council for Scientific Research and the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM).

“This is quite exciting because it will be the first time that a trawl vessel will explore the marine resources and sea bottom along the Lebanese coasts,” said Paolo Carpentieri, GFCM fishery resources monitoring specialist, who will oversee the survey.

“We don’t know what to expect, we could find anything, from fish to crustaceans to different species of sharks and — why not! — new species in the Mediterranean Sea,” he added.

Every year, 3,280 tonnes of fish are caught in Lebanese waters, generating a revenue of around US$14 million. Two years in the planning, the campaign will run from 1 to 11 October 2021 and will sample around 45 fishing operations across the entire coast at depths varying from ten to 700 metres.

Following the survey, the GFCM will support Lebanon in collecting data to help establish a routine monitoring system for fisheries resources in the country.

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