GAZA FISHING PORT
The fisheries sector in Gaza provides significant employment with currently over 3,600 registered fishers who are able to fish in relative safety. This figure suggests that together with their families, approximately 18,000 people rely on fishing for their livelihood. Fish is also a major source of protein and essential fatty acids and provides nutritional diversity to Gazan diets. However access restrictions to fishing areas, along with import and export limitations to outside markets imposed by the Israeli authorities as part of the blockade have severely undermined the fisheries sector in Gaza. The situation remains unpredictable and as of October 2019 (when these images were taken) although the expansion of the fishing zone had improved the situation, it has changed as many as fourteen times in the preceding 6 months.
As of 25 July 2021 Israeli authorities halved the size of Gaza's fishing sector from 12 nautical miles to 6, citing the use of incendiary balloons launched from Gaza causing fires in Israel. The 1993 Oslo Peace Accord stipulates that Israel is obligated to allow Palestinians 20 nautical miles of fishing area but this has never been implemented. Prior to the May offensive (which killed 260 Palestinians and 13 Israelis) earlier this year, Gaza fishermen had 15 nautical miles of fishing area in which to ply their trade. Prior to this Israeli authorities had been looking to extend Gaza's fishing area after what was considered a period of calm, but this latest incident has prompted a complete reversal of that decision. The implications of this reversal will have a monumental effect of Gaza's economy. Fishers need to access fish on the sea floor at least 20 nautical miles out to sea. There is nothing to catch at 6 nautical miles. Most fishers, who must circumvent the dangers of a military blockade every day in order to work, will no longer now be able to cover their costs, let alone make a profit.