The parliament’s Committee of Agriculture and Irrigation held an emergency session on Sunday to discuss a request submitted by member of parliament (MP) Abdul Hamid Kamal regarding the strategy of the government in promoting the fisheries sector and discussing the reasons behind the local market damage and the poor production of fish. It also includes finding solutions to problems within this sector, such as granting fishing permits, protecting lakes from pollution, and the use of drain water in fish farming.
The committee, headed by MP Hisham El-Shainy, criticised the government’s management of the fisheries file. The committee accused some MPs from the government with dereliction of duty regarding fisheries file management. The committee also warned against wasting lakes’ waters and polluting them with sanitation and industry wastewater, which has a direct impact on the fish in these lakes and is putting the lives of citizens in permanent risk of diseases such as kidney failure and viral Hepatitis.
MP Magdy Malak said that the Egyptian fisheries file was seized from fisheries officials by thugs and thieves. He demanded the disclosure of fisheries expenses in the past year. Malak emphasised that this sector has been destroyed due to the mismanagement of the Ministry of Agriculture. He called for holding those who are in charge accountable for wasting the general money and using fisheries for the benefit of the imported frozen fish mafia.
Abdul Hamid Kamal said that the country should stop the import of tuna fish from unknown sources, along with Chinese shrimp. The import of fish is allegedly behind the collapse of fisheries in Egypt.
Kamal accused the government of a lack of plans for food security at the fisheries. He noted that the government forgot about the natural lakes, such as Bardawil, Manzala, Burullus, Timsah, Mariout, Moeris, and Nasser. Also the Nile River, the coast of the Red and Mediterranean Seas and the Gulf of Suez are susceptible to pollution, encroachment, filling, and drying.
MP Gawaher Al-Sherbini emphasised that the Governor of Port Said filled vast spaces of the Manzala lake in order to establish housing units.
This came during the agriculture committee’s meeting yesterday to discuss a number of briefing requests on the government’s strategy in promoting the fisheries sector and to resolve the sector’s problems. It also included granting fishing permits, protecting the lakes from pollution and the use of drain water in fish farming, the failure in developing lakes in general, and filling parts of the area. Minister of Environment Khaled Fahmy and representatives from the General Authority for Fish Resources Development and the ministries of irrigation, interior, health, population, and environment attended the meeting.
Fahmy emphasised that the pollution in the Nile River in general is concentrated in the provinces of Minya and Aswan due to sugar factories that throw their sanitation water directly into the river at Damietta, south of Cairo, and at the city of Rashid.
Fahmy said the Ministry of Environment is only responsible for industrial waste, and there is a plan to eliminate this phenomenon.
Fahmy stated that the ministry has developed sensors on a number of factories that throw their drain water in the Nile in order to focus on eliminating the pollution in these areas directly, adding that there is a purification plan in which they demolished a number of such factories.