- Title: Spearfishing in Gaza, a living improvised under the sea
- Date: 13th October 2020
- Summary: GAZA CITY, GAZA (OCTOBER 8, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FISHERMAN FROM GAZA, ASHRAF AL-AMOUDI, SAYING: "I like to swim and fish close to the shore, it's been a hobby of mine, but when I couldn't find a job, it became my profession and my source of living. I fish and catch a small number of fish and I rely on this as my main source of income." VARIOUS OF AL-AMOUDI CLEANING HIS EQUIPMENT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FISHERMAN FROM GAZA, ASHRAF AL-AMOUDI, SAYING: "I know how to fix flippers and how to make a speargun, but there are things that I can't do, and this is what should be imported, like flippers, suits and other things like oxygen tanks, we don't have these things."
- Embargoed: 27th October 2020 11:19
- Keywords: Fishing Gaza Palestinians Sprearfishing
- Location: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- City: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Human-Led Feature,Human-Led Stories,Middle East
- Reuters ID: LVA004CZYPFF9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Armed with a snorkel mask and a home-made gun shaped like a trident, and dressed in a green sweatshirt and jogging pants, Ashraf Al-Amoudi goes hunting every day in the coastal waters of Gaza.â€‹ He is one of scores of spear fishermen who scratch out a living close to shore in the Hamas Islamist-run territory, diving from boats to depths of around four meters (13 ft) without oxygen to prise oysters from the rocks and catch grouper, sea bream and mullet.
"At the beginning it was a hobby, and when I couldn't find work it became a job and a source of living," said Amoudi, who has been a fisherman for 13 years.
Now his catch nets him an average of around $14 a day.
Gaza's unemployment rate is around 50% and tight restrictions imposed by Israel - which cites security concerns in its conflict with Hamas - make it difficult to obtain diving equipment and sometimes force the closure of Gaza's fishing zones.
So Amoudi and his co-workers are used to improvising.
"We can repair fins, make an underwater gun, but there are things we can't (obtain) such as fins, suits, goggles and oxygen," he said.
He says Gaza has around 250 men who fish with spears and some 4,000 who use boats and nets, among a population of two million.
(Production: Suhaib Salem, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh)
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