Fishermen in Beirut, Lebanon – Yann Arthus-Bertrand Photography


Fishermen in Beirut, Lebanon - Yann Arthus-Bertrand Photography

The rocky headland of Ras Beirut, at the city’s northwest corner, extends into a narrow pier where fishermen venture, undaunted by the rough waves. Apart from recreational fishing, the Lebanese practice small-scale commercial fishing from the many small ports dotted along the country’s 130-mile (210-kilometer) coastline. Despite competition from Turkey, which catches 30 percent of the 1.3 million metric tons of fish taken from the Mediterranean every year, fishing retains an important social and cultural role in Lebanon. Unlike the north Atlantic, fishing around the shores of the Mediterranean is mostly small-scale, as the makeup of the fleet shows: 85 percent of fishing boats are coastal, 10 percent are trawlers, and 3 percent use seine nets. Nevertheless, several species—hake, sole, bass, and monkfish—are fished at a higher rate than stocks can replenish themselves. International agreements have recently been put in place to try to improve the coordinated management of the Mediterranean’s fish resources.

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