A worried fisherman from Al Hoceima told Arif News that the largest boats that fish sardines in Al Hoceima left for Moroccan cities on the Atlantic Ocean. The reason for the departure is the small catch, the high costs and the black dolphin that causes great damage to the nets and catches of the fishermen.
The worried fisherman, who wanted to remain anonymous for safety reasons, said that in the summer a few returned to Al Hoceima, because the sardines are then in abundance. The traders pay only 100 doro (4.5 euro) per box, 300 euro (13.5 euro) in other cities. Because of these problems, more and more owners of boats choose not to return to Al Hoceima in the summer. They choose to repair the boat and wait for the winter when the fish is in abundance in the Atlantic.
The fishing port was the beating heart of the economy in the coastal town of Al Hoceima in Arif. For several years, however, the port has had major problems, which meant that many boats had to leave. This resulted in even more unemployment in the province where no factory can be found.
The problems started, not accidentally, after the regime announced that they wanted to change the fishing port to a marina to attract Arab tourists from the Middle East. The local population is violently opposed because this group of tourists is associated with sex tourism and sexual abuse of young children.
In the demands of the Riffian people’s movement, which broke out after the killing of fishmonger Mohsine Fikri, attention was paid to the fishing in the region. Below is a quote from the package of requirements:
It will not surprise anyone to learn that fishing is the sector most affected by corruption and deterioration, so that the local economy does not benefit from the rich fish stocks in front of it. Many fish are smuggled away. The port in Alhoceima has its faults, but now he is completely targeted by transforming him into a marina in the future. That will only strengthen the economic strangulation of the region. We must defend ourselves against the planned transformation of the port by promoting tourism as an excuse. We strive for a rehabilitation of the port, and the introduction of modern infrastructure to help both the fishing boats and to better control and cool the fish. In this way the fish sector will become more productive, but this must not be at the expense of the environment or the sustainability of the fish stocks. Therefore, the following measures must be taken urgently.
1. The punishment of all lobbies that are complicit in the disruption of this sector.
2. The introduction of quotas for the different types of fish that are exported outside the province, and strict supervision of the protection of the biological resting times of the fish species.
3. Creating a structure to stand up for the interests of small fishermen, so that their income is guaranteed and they can enjoy legal protection.
4. A total and professional evaluation to map the problems of the fishermen and the boat owners, in order to create a healthy climate for everyone who works in this sector. There must also be a definitive end to the scourge of corruption.
5. A solution must be found for unregulated dockworkers so that they too enjoy legal protection and can also be entitled to sickness insurance and pension.