Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Perspective: Basra fisherman caught between fuel prices, security

A fisherman is Basra

Fisherman Mazin Jawad, 36, cannot look at his seven children without feelings of shame and guilt overcoming him. Without the income he used to have, he has had to take four of them out of school and taken 'luxuries' such as meat out of their lives.

Like his fellow fishermen in Basra, some 600km south of the capital, Baghdad, Jawad has found it difficult to make a living since the government nearly doubled fuel prices at the start of 2007 and since security measures were tightened in Iraqi waters not long before this.

"The new diesel prices made it very difficult for us to make any profit from fishing. In addition, we face daily difficulties in the sea by Iranian and Kuwaiti authorities. For about a month now we have been forced to abandon our only source of income," Jawad told IRIN in a phone interview on Monday while he was taking part in a demonstration with other fishermen.

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet