Fluctuations in the freshwater fish catch of the Basrah province, Iraq during the period from 2005 to 2016


The current investigation is an attempt to assess the situation of the fishery resources and fisheries in the freshwater of Basrah province during the period from 2005 to 2016. The declared catches by the fishermen and fish market were used to in the present study. Surface Gill, Drift, seine and Cast net's fishing method was employed mainly for catching the fish, The total of freshwater fishes landed in the province during the above mentioned period was about 11,094.940 Tons. The total landed peaked of the fishes in 2015 at 1978.395 ton which accounted about 18% of total catch. About fourteen freshwater fish species were caught and the total landed was dominated by the less economically fishes such as Silurus triostegus which accounted for 20 % of the total catch. On the other hand, the highly economically fishes were landed in a less quantity during the period studied. If present trends continue, much of the unique basrah inland fish fauna will disappear and will be replaced by alien fishes, such as Cyprinus carpio, Tilapia zillii, Carassius auratus, Hypophthalmiehthys molitrix and Ctenopharyngodon idella . Overfishing, market prices, weather patterns, and environmental conditions (natural or human-made) have an important effect on fish stock. The increase in water salinity, pollution level and declining water levels has also a major impact on fish stock.Therefore, the enforcement of the new standards for the environment pollution and for the water level control in the region are essential.