SANA’A- According to reports by the Yemeni Ministry of Fishery, the fishing sector has been taking heavy hits as a result of the Saudi-led invasion of the country.
Fishing, one of the most important sectors of Yemen’s economy as well as a major source of food and income for millions of Yemeni citizens, has been subjected to a Saudi campaign of intimidation, terror and outright mass murder, according to the Ministry’s findings that were reported on by Yemen Press journalist Shefa’a Abdullah.
As a result of incessant targeting of fishing boats, docks, ports and landing points for fish, as well as direct and often lethal targeting of fishermen, the fishery sector has lost over 3.5 billion US dollars worth of income over the past three years.
At least 151 fishermen have been killed by Saudi forces so far, with many dozens more wounded and often unable to continue working. No less than 36,000 fishermen have lost their jobs, along with over 18,000 fishing warf employees. Due to the fact that much of Yemen’s economy is in shatters due to the Saudi invasion, many unemployed end up in abject poverty.
On the matter of fishing boats, at least 222 vessels have been destroyed or sunk by the Saudis, with 586 more stranded on land and unable to continue their operations. The heaviest economic hits to the sector took place in the Midi district of Hajjah province, and the departments of Dhubab, Bab al-Mandab and Mukha in Taiz province, whom collectively lost over 58 million dollars in income.
Even more catastrophically, the destruction of the fishing sector has caused a direct impact on both the income and food intake of the Yemeni population, with over two and a half million people directly losing revenue as a result. The annual per capita consumption of fish across Yemen plummeted from 14 kg to merely 2.5, indicating a massive drop in important nutritional value by Yemenis.
The targeting of the fishing industry is part of a wider Saudi strategy to target the very fabric of Yemeni society, destroying food production, infrastructure and employment chances alike, all in an attempt to take Yemen in a suffocating stranglehold.