KHARTOUM (Xinhua) -- Master-hand fishers attend the finshing contest in Djebel Aulia, 50 kilometers south of Sudanese capital Khartoum, May 10, 2010. Djebel Aulia held a fishing festival on Monday to promote the countyís fishing industry.
Xinhua photo - Mohammed Babiker
Fishing festival promotes
Sudanís fish resources
festival ENCOURAGES investment IN FISHERIES SECTOR
and reflectS cultural ASPECTS and WATER sports
SPECIAL REPORT FROM KHARTOUM BY XINHUA
Fayez el-Zaki Hassan
KHARTOUM (Xinhua) --
To promote Sudanís fish resources, Sudanese organizations initiated a fishing festival, which was launched on Monday at the Jebel Awliya reservoir, some 90 km south of Khartoum, with participation of a number of ministries, foreign embassies, Arab and foreign communities and a great number of citizens.
The festival tended mainly to promote Sudanís fishing sector and the investment opportunities in this sector, and to reflect cultural and sports aspects including water sports.
The festival activities included competitions of fishing, water sports, boating, canoeing, sand sculpture, Sudanese folklore shows, fish culture exhibition, and cultural and arts exhibitions and symposia.
"This festival is a means to promote Sudanís fish resources, reflect the countryís cultural heritage and provide entertainment for the citizens through the festivalís accompanying activities," Nihal Abdalla, one of the festival organizers, told Xinhua.
"Through this festival, we tend to inform with the traditional fishing methodology.
"We also tend to promote this occupation via introduction of modern methods and to inform with danger of illegal and non-organized fishing," she added.
Sudan enjoys great numbers of water shelves that qualify it to maintain huge fish resources of different species, where the countryís fish reserve amounts to 110,000 tonnes according to estimates of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Sudan depends, in its fish resources, on the in-land fisheries on the Nile Valley and its tributaries.
These fisheries contribute over 90 per cent of the countryís estimated fish production potentiality.
The sudd on the White Nile (Jebel Awliya Reservoir) and the Blue Nile (Roseires and Sennar Reservoirs) constitute the biggest major fishing sites in the country.
Professional fishermen from the different ethnic groups practice fishing on the in-land water, using wood canoes and traditional wood and metal fishing boats, depending on traditional equipment including barrier nets and fishing strings.
"We have been practicing traditional fishing for tens of years, using traditional means.
"We adore this activity which we inherited from our ancestors," Yassin Abdul-Ghader, chief of fishermen at Jebel Awliya area, told Xinhua.
"The fishing festival is an important event to inform with our job and it should have been initiated long time ago.
"This area (Jebel Awliya) has known fishing for years. It was introduced by the Greeks when they were in Sudan about a century ago, and then the Sudanese adopted it," he added.
The Sudanese Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries said that there are over a hundred types of fish species in Sudanís in- land water with various densities at different areas.
Despite the fact that the traditional fishermen depend on the in-land fisheries, but the recent years have witnessed increasing fishing activities that fulfill market needs, particularly at the Blue Nile and Nuba Lake.
"This festival is important as it sheds light on tourism in Sudan and helps to boost Nile tourism by utilizing the River Nile and its tributaries," Ali Mahdi, the renowned Sudanese actor, told Xinhua.
"This is a good idea, but it came a little late.
"Such festivals should have been organized years ago to cast light on Sudanís formidable potentiality and inform with them," he added.
Sudan has received support for both inland and marine fisheries, where there is a joint fisheries training project between the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) at a number of areas in Sudan.
The Canada International Development Research Center, in the meantime, funds two projects in Sudan including marine live culture project in the Red Sea and fish culture project in Khartoum.
There is also a joint project between Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the UNDP to provide fishermen with fishing gears and storage and transport means.