Fishery resources of Sabah Al-Ahmad Sea City waterways: a potential contributor for Kuwait's fisheries

Recent reports demonstrate that Arabian Gulf Shellfish and Finfish fisheries are in serious decline, in particular those of Kuwait. This decline is attributed to over fishing, pollution, loss of nursery ground, reduction in riverine input via the Shatt Al-Arab, and climate change. When completed in 2018 Sabah Al-Ahmad Sea City, Kuwait, will contain circa 200 km of waterways providing over 50% of extra coast line for Kuwait. Seine netting and gargoor traps have been deployed annually, since the first phase (A1) of this coastal township was opened to the sea in 2004, to monitor shell and fin fish populations within the waterways. Present work describes the diversity and abundance of commercial (edible and potential ornamental value) species now inhabiting the waterways, which comprise over 60% of the species marketed in Kuwait. Analysis of catch data reveals that the waterways act as spawning, nursery and feeding habitats for important species such as Epinephelus coioides (Orange-spotted Grouper), Penaeus semisulcatus (Banana Shrimp) and Portunus segnis (Blue Swimming Crab). As no commercial fishing is allowed, the Sea City waterways act as a significant conservation area for Kuwait´s fish stocks.