Fishermen protest LMRA fees

HUNDREDS of Bahraini fishermen yesterday staged a protest over a BD10 monthly fee imposed by the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) for each expatriate worker.

It was organised by the Fishermen’s Protection Society at its premises in Muharraq.

Fishermen protested against the monthly fee, saying they cannot afford to pay it and it should be lifted.

They called on the country’s leadership to intervene following a string of similar protests.

“We are not investment companies, we barely make it through to support our families,” said society president Jassim Al Jeran.

“Most food supplies in Bahrain are subsidised by the government, why not do the same with seafood such as fish. We need support.”

Mr Al Jeran said that fishermen should also be compensated when fishing is banned during the breeding season so their income is not affected.

“Shrimp catchers especially suffer when the four-month ban is implemented every year from March 15 to July 15. Their income suffers because of this and therefore they should be compensated,” he said.

Mr Al Jeran said that fishermen would hold a nation-wide strike within two weeks if their demands to be exempted from the fees were not met.

This is the fourth demonstration organised by the society in Muharraq.

The first demonstration was broken up by police on June 1, but 60 fishing dhows and 35 small fishing boats stayed in port during a subsequent strike.

On June 18, fishermen demonstrated in front of the society’s premises in Muharraq.

The third protest was held on August 31, when more than 170 fishermen and their supporters demonstrated outside the society’s premises. Similar protests have been held in the Seef district.

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