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The Government of Bahrain, assisted by the United Nations Development Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, is engaged in the Feasibility Study of Mariculture Development Project (BAH/82/002), the main purpose of which is to contribute to the development of coastal marine aquaculture at the national level. This study was originally suggested in the FAO/UNDP Feasibility Mission report Mariculture Development in Bahrain, published in July 1979 1.

As part of the operation of the project, FAO assigned John C. Allen, Aquaculture Engineer, as a Consultant to the project from 1 to 30 September 1983. His terms of reference were: to carry out a study of the Ras Haiyan area for the construction of two test ponds of 0.1 ha each, including topography, level of ground water, hydraulics, general planning and choice of lining, with a detailed estimate of the costs involved.

As the consulting period was restricted to 28 days, including two days at FAO, Rome, a concise listing of the tasks to be accomplished and a time schedule for accomplishment was prepared (Appendix 1). In general, the engineering work accomplished was, where practical, translated directly into designs and finished construction drawings, which were supplied to the Directorate of Fisheries, Bahrain. These will form the basis of a construction contract for the ponds, water control structures and a water supply and distribution system.

In addition a master plan of the project development was prepared for the current “Feasibility Project” and (if it proved practical) the follow-on Pilot Project (Phase I). The follow-on project includes an additional ten ponds, a hatchery, outside rearing tanks and miscellaneous workshops and stores. A preliminary water distribution and drainage scheme for the ultimate pond system was planned.

Additional to the ponds for the next phase described above, a grow-out pond of 1.0 ha was introduced into the master plan to allow experiments in fish culture on a commercial scale pond and for use as an instruction pond for the training of prospective fish farmers and technologists.

Personnel of the Directorate of Fisheries who materially assisted in the timely accomplishment of the engineering tasks included Jassim Al Qaseer, Acting Director; A.J. Shams, Aquaculturist and Team Leader; Jassim Aradi, Aquaculturist; Ibrahim Rahim, Fishery Biologist, and V.S. Durue, Fisheries Consultant. All government departments were most generous in providing data, assistance and advice during the engineering period.

1 Coche, A.G., G. Cuzon and T. Lichatowich, Mariculture Development in Bahrain, Report of a feasibility Mission. Regional Fishery Survey and Development Project. Rome, FAO, 1979. FI:DP/RAB/71/278/6

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