FAO Regional Office for the Near East
STATUS OF FISH CULTURE IN THE NEAR EAST REGION
The Near East Region comprises Afghanistan, Bahrein, Federation of South Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Pakistan (West), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Republic and Yemen. The limitations of the inland water regime in this region, which is predominantly arid, delimit its aquicultural development. However, the basins of the major river systems of the Nile, the Euphrates-Tigris and the Indus, and of several small rivers and streams as also a number of lakes, dams, reservoirs, springs, marshes, irrigation canals, and even scattered oasis pools and wet rice fields offer considerable possibilities for augmenting the natural fish crop through transplantation, management and other piscicultural operations. Moreover, recent stimuli provided through the establishment of experiment-cum-demonstration fish farms as in West Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Iraq and the U.A.R., have resulted in a general awakening in fish culture, which can, in course of time, transform the cultivable waters into productive units to supplement the local protein supply for the growing population.
Statistics of pisciculture in the region are meagre; nevertheless, available data indicate that with progressive attention of the governments and the people and with the increase in skilled man-power in these countries, fish culture will come to play a role of appreciable importance in the Near East.
SITUATION DE LA PISCICULTURE AU MOYEN-ORIENT
La région du Proche-Orient comprend l'Afghanistan, Bahrein, la Fédération d'Arabie du Sud, l'Iran, l'Irak, la Jordanie, Koweit, le Liban, la Libye, Oman, le Pakistan (occidental), Qatar, l'Arabie Saoudite, la Somalie, le Soudan, la Syrie, la République Arabe Unie et le Yémen. Dans cette région, qui est à prédominance aride, le développement de l'aquiculture est limité par le régime des eaux intérieures. Toutefois, les bassins des principaux systèmes fluviaux - Nil, Tigre-Euphrate et Indus - et de plusieurs petites rivières et cours d'eau ainsi qu'un certain nombre de lacs, retenues de barrages, réservoirs, sources, marécages, canaux d'irrigation et même de nappes d'eau dans certaines oasis et de rizières inondées offrent des possibilités considérables pour augmenter la production naturelle de poisson grâce à la transplantation, l'aménagement et autres opérations piscicoles. En outre, les résultats encourageants obtenus dans les élevages expérimentaux et de démonstration créés récemment au Pakistan occidental, au Soudan, en Syrie, en Irak et dans la R.A.U. ont suscité un intérêt général pour la pisciculture qui pourrait entraîner, par la suite, une transformation des plans d'eaux qui s'y prêtent en unités productives fournissant un supplément de protéines à la population toujours plus nombreuse.
Il y a peu de statistiques sur la pisciculture dans la région; néanmoins, les données dont on dispose indiquent qu'avec l'intérêt croissant que portent à cette activité les gouvernements et les populations et l'augmentation des disponibilités en main-d'oeuvre qualifiée, la pisciculture sera appelée à jouer un rôle appréciable dans les pays du Moyen-Orient.
EL ESTADO DE LA PISCICULTURA EN EL CERCANO ORIENTE
La región del Cercano Oriente comprende Afghanistán, Bahrein, Federación de Arabia del Sur, Irán, Irak, Jordania, Kowait, Líbano, Libia, Omásn, Pakistán (occidental), Katar, Arabia Saudita, Somalia, Sudán, Siria, República Arabe Unida y Yemen. Las limitaciones del régimen de aguas continentales en esta región, que es predominantemente árida, delimitan su desarrollo acuícultural. Sin embargo, las cuencas de los principales sistemas fluviales del Nilo, del Eúfrates-Tigris y del Indo, y de varios pequeños ríos y arroyos, así como de algunos lagos, presas, depósitos, manantiales, pantanos, canales de riego e incluso grupos de oasis diseminados y campos de arroz inundados, ofrecen considerables posibilidades para aumentar los cultivos piscícolas naturales mediante el trasplante, la ordenación racional y otras operaciones piscícolas. Además, los recientes estímulos proporcionados mediante la creación de granjas piscícolas a la vez experimentales y de demostración en Pakistán occidental, Sudán, Siria, Irak y la R.A.U., han dado lugar a un despertar general de la piscicultura, que, con el tiempo, pueden transformar las aguas cultivables en unidades productoras para complementar el suministro local de proteínas necesarias a una población que crece sin cesar.
Las estadísticas sobre piscicultura en la región son escasas; no obstante, los datos existentes indican que con atención progresiva por parte de los gobiernos y el pueblo, con el aumento de mano de obra calificada en estos países, la piscicultura acabará desempeñando una función de apreciable importancia en el Cercano Oriente.
The Near East Region, bounded in general by the South East Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Aden, Oman and Persian gulfs, covers the following countries:
|Federation of South Arabia||Qatar|
|Lebanon||United Arab Republic|
For official reasons, Israel, which is geographically within the region, is treated separately and hence the present note does not cover that country.
The region is predominantly arid and the limitations of inland water controls its aquicultural development. The eastern portion of the Sahara sweeps across the region through Libya and Egypt, and extends into Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. From there it is followed by the Sind desert of West Pakistan and the arid regions of Iran and Afghanistan. To the north, the semi-arid steppe becomes more and more Mediterranean in climate and vegetation, while to the south, the savannahs become subtropical in their rainfall and climate.
Three major river systems bring immense quantities of water into these arid zones from regions where rainfall is greater. The Nile flows north from a tropical zone; the Euphrates-Tigris flows south from the Turkish-Persian rainfall belt, and the Indus flows south-west from the Himalayas. Lesser rivers rise within the region, notably the Jordan, Litani and Orontes, which begin in the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon ranges, fed by water precipitation from the Mediterranean. But the volume of water in these rivers diminishes greatly as they approach their mouths. Where they flow through brackish areas, their salinity rises. Many of the lesser rivers even fail to reach the sea, and finish by evaporating from lakes or from sebkhas or mud flats. Apart from the major river basins mentioned above, the region, in general, is characterized by deficient precipitation, high evaporation and the formation of basins with closed drainage and saline soils.
While the fishery management of most of the following inland waters in the Near East countries would involve, either in part or in whole, some stocking and other piscicultural operations, the underlined items possess direct fish culture potential of varying degree.
Some scattered farm ponds and reservoirs in the lower elevation around Kabul and at Sairobi and Wargak, the dams of Arghandab and Kajakai, the Helmand River and its tributaries such as the Tarnak, the Afghanistan and the Arghandab, some minor rivers like the Kabul, the Panshir and the Tagao Dare, a few mountain streams and springs, the Afghan stretches of the Oxus and the Amudarya and the irrigation channels in the agricultural sector.
A few spring pools as at Qassari and Adhari, some village ponds as in Sitra, garden tanks as at Bodaya and a number of mosque tanks distributed in the island.
The lakes of Bakhtegan, Nairiz and Razieh, the salt swamps or “kavirs”, the dams and reservoirs like the Mangil dam, Shahmaz dam, and the Poleah Khaju, the rivers viz., the Karun, Kharkheh, Jerrahi, Mand, Djaje, Kand, Karaj, Gharasu, Zayandeh, Kur, Abu-Diz, Minab, Heraz, Talar, Gorgan and Habieh, the Caspian sea, the terminal stretch of the Euphrates-Tigris in the Shatt-el-Arab and the minor irrigation projects as at Shabankara, Ranan, Sar and Samman.
The fish farms at Zafaraniyah and Latifiya, the farm ponds in the various Liwas, the reservoirs of dams and regulators, such as Derband I Khan, Dokan, Bekhme, Hindiya, Kut, Ramadi, Khan Bani Saad, Batmah, Wallal, Samarra, Meshkab, Yaoo, Hafar and Garmat Akaika, the large lakes of Habbania and Tartar, Abur Dibis, Hors Abu Nedjum and Bahr el Milh, the marshes like Howaiza, large irrigation canals like Dijaila and Garaf and the supply and drainage channels in date plantations and other agricultural areas.
A number of seasonal and perennial catchments, a few reservoirs like the Solomon's pools near Bethlehem and the Roman reservoirs at Jerash, the fresh and brackish-water springs of which there are over a thousand in Jordan, and the pools associated with them such as the Azrak, the Ein Fashka, the Turabah, the Callirhoe and the Pela and the streams of Yarmouk, Zarka, Wadi el Wala, Wadi Mojib, Sueib, Arab, Ziglab, El Yarbis, Kufrinja and Hassa and the river Jordan.
A few brackish-water springs, canals and drains and the coastal backwaters in Keisan.
The springs of Anjar, Jessine, Terbol, Zahle, Ras el Ein, Leboueh Zarba and Hermel the brackish-water pools and backwaters on the coast, a few private garden tanks and reservoirs as at the Agricultural Nursery at Beirut, the perennial river Litany, the streams of Aouale, Nahr Beyrouth, Kalb, Nahr Ibrahim and Kadisha, the short perennial stretches of the Jordan and the Orontus and a few swamps like the Ameek swamp in the Bekka Valley.
A few scattered artesan waters as in the Fezzan, some spring pools like the Ain el Fras at Gadames and in oases like Wahat Yanbou (La Sorgente) and certain plantation channels as in Alba.
Farm ponds and masonry tanks as in Lahore and Rawalpindi (about 52,000 ponds have been recorded in the former Punjab alone), lakes like Manchar, dams and reservoirs such as the barrages of Sukkur, Bakra, Ghulam Mohamed, Tounsa, Gaddu Kabri, Kaanhi, Malakand, Dargai, Warsak, Rasul, Kurra Gabri and Mianvab, irrigation canals like the Marala Ravi Link and the abandoned channels and pools under the Irrigation Department. The cold mountain waters of the Kaghan Valley, the Chitral and the Swat river hold very good trout culture potential.
The oasis spring pools like Mansoor and Um Saba at Hofuf and other oases like Qatif, Sefwa and Tarut, Al Khadud, Fraihonna, Al Hagul, Mulhis, a few small lakes like Asfar, certain enclosed pools as in Jabrain and the irrigation canals in agricultural areas as in Wadi Gizan etc.
The small river basins of the Schebeli and the Juba, a few pools, catchments of monsoon rains and the diversion canals, farm ponds, and irrigation tanks included in the National Development Plan.
The Gordon's Tree Fish Farm, a few private fish farms near Khartoum, the rain-fed “Hafirs”, which are reservoirs of drinking water with close autonomous drainage basins like the Gols reservoir in Darfur and the Mazdum and Dali reservoirs in the Upper Nile, and haffirs with at least temporary river connections as those in Malakal, several dam ponds, catchments and rain-fed tanks as in Ywatoga, Maridi, Nzara, Yambio and other parts of the Equatoria Province and the irrigation canals as in the Gezira.
The Government fish farm at Kalat el Moudik, the marshes in the Ghab Valley, the barrage reservoirs as at Rastane and Altkeya, the springs of Ain Taka, Cheria, Houach, Ain Cibine, Kalat el Moudik, Khadre, Fije and Ras el Ein, the lakes of Katuniyeh, Homs, Ran, Muzerib, the river valleys of the Nahr el Kabir, the Barada, the Senn, the el Awaj rivulet and the Syrian stretch of the Euphrates and its tributaries, As-Sajour Souyou, Balikh, Khabour, Djerdjib, Jarh-Jarh and Jerrah, the lagoon adjoining Lake Tiberias and the catchments as alongside the Safita Road near Tartouse.
The United Arab Republic
The Government fish farms at Serrow, Kanater el Khairiya Barrage, Manzalah, Nozha and Mex, private fish farms like the Hafez, the Oaes, the Kubeisa etc., the dam reservoirs specially the Nasser Lake and the Aswan Reservoir, the deltaic lakes of Mariut, Edku, Manzalah and Borullos, the backwaters of Port Fouad and Bardawil, the inland lake of Qarum, the coastal lagoons as at Mersa Matruh and Alamein, a few ponds and wet rice fields as around Serrow, the oases spring pools, channels and lakes as in Sewa, and the main River Nile and its extensive basin and canal systems for irrigation and navigation, besides the inundations under flood irrigation in the South. The Qatara depression and the Suez Canal connecting the Red Sea with the Mediterranean and the associated Bitter Lakes and the Ismalia Lakes may also be reckoned.
The perennial streams and wadis fed by springs and floods such as the Mur, Rima, Sabid, Sadd and Sordud, the irrigation channels connected with the wadis, open wells and reservoirs fed by rain and ground water as around Sana and Yermin and parts of the Tihamas.
Fish culture is unknown in many parts of the Near East, and among the nomads in the arid deserts, there are some who have never seen a fish in their lives. Apart from the limitations in the distribution of water bodies, the traditional role of meat and other animal husbandry products in the protein supply pattern of the Near East has also, in several areas, been in the way of fish being a popular article of diet. Nevertheless, along the coasts and river banks, fishing for the wild stocks has been going on for ages. Although a region-wide awakening is observed in fisheries exploitation, necessitated by increasing pressure on agricultural land and inadequate livestock production to cope with the fast expanding population, the practice of raising cultivated fish crop is a comparatively recent development even in the limited areas as in West Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Iraq and the U.A.R. where some piscicultural activities have been started. It has however, to be observed that as evident from the number and diversity of inland waters already listed in the previous paragraphs, there is considerable scope for the piscicultural utilization of a fairly wide range of cultivable waters in several countries of the region, including not only seasonal catchments, swamps and coastal lagoons, but also springs, oasis pools, farm ponds, reservoirs, dams, irrigation canals and lakes.
The current practices and activities in fish culture in the region may be summarized thus:
In West Pakistan, starting from a few demonstration fish farms, fish culture is being extended and popularized, especially in the Lahore Division, where 70 fish farms were in operation in 1962 in addition to a dozen new ones in Rawalpindi.
Certain cultivable waters like the Manchar Lake, and the Marala Ravi Link navigation canal have been surveyed, and the natural fish stocks in them studied. The neglected channels and barren waters under the Irrigation Department are being taken up for piscicultural utilization. The third Five Year Plan (1965/66 to 1969/70) envisages such utilization of 30,780 ha of derelict water areas.
Attempts at artificial breeding are yet to meet with success. But fish eggs, fry and fingerlings are being collected from natural spawning grounds and nurseries and reared in specially constructed nurseries as near the Wassak Dam. These are stocked in an increasing number of cultivable waters such as tanks, canals, dams and reservoirs. A fleet of lorries for live fish transport has been provided.
Planting of desirable aquaflora like Vallisneria, Hydrilla, Potamogeton etc. in optimum densities is being attempted. The control of fish parasites like Argulus has been effected, e.g. at the Hiran Minar fish farm. An extension service in fish farming has been established.
Among the fish species cultivated are the indigenous carps, of which the rohu (Labeo rohita), the morakhe (Cirrhina mrigala) and the theila (Catla catla) are most popular. The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) has been introduced and is under observation. Tilapia, too, has been introduced; but the culture of Tilapia with carp in large masonry tanks like the Hiran Minar tank was reported to have affected carp production and angling prospects adversely, and Tilapia was therefore eradicated from the tank. Besides the warm-water species, trout is cultured in the Shinu hatchery in the Kaghan Valley and stocked in about a dozen stream stretches in the Valley. Operations have been extended to Chitral and also to the Swat river environs. Attempts at breeding other exotic species are also being made.
One of the two permanent fish culture training institutes in the Near East is the Kot Abdul Malik Training Centre near Lahore, established in 1958. Short and long range courses of training, ranging from eight days to six months for candidates at various levels are provided.
In Sudan, the organization of fish culture has been based at the Experimental Fish Culture Station established in 1953 at Gordon's Tree. Although some hydrobiological studies have been attempted around this Station with the active collaboration of the University of Khartoum, the fishery research and production activities at the Station have been handicapped due to the limitations of personnel, program and equipment. Nevertheless, some practical fish culture has been extended to a number of localities in Sudan as in the Equatoria, the Kordofan and the Darfur Provinces. The fish production potential of the man-made canal systems as in the Gezira has been recognized, but remains to be developed. Stocking has been done in some dam ponds, catchments and rainfed tanks in Ywatoga, Maridi, Nzara, Yambio and other parts of the Equatoria province.
The species cultivated are: Tilapia nilotica, T. galilaea and T. zillii; Alistes sp., Labeo nilotica, Labeo spp., Hydrocyon sp. etc.
A type of marine culture on the Red Sea coast has been established through a recent FAO/EPTA Project for shell fish. There are at present 120 private mother-of-pearl shell farms, and attempts at pearl culture have resulted in half-pearl blisters.
Regarding productivity, some studies have been made on diurnal changes of stratification and photosynthesis in some parts of the papyrus swamp in the “Sudd” and of the Gebel Aulia Reservoir.
Fish mortality studies have been taken on hand, and over-breeding and stunted growth in Tilapia are being tackled. Heterotis breeding has been planned.
In the United Arab Republic, fish cultural activities have been based at the Departmental fish farms at Serrow, the Barrage, Manzaleh, Nozha and Mex, while a few fish farms have also been established near the Barrage and Serrow. Rice-cum-fish culture is being attempted on a small scale in limited areas as around Serrow, where adequate water depth is available for an appreciable duration.
The main piscine problems which have been or are being tackled are: the age and growth rate of Tilapia, Lates and Mugil, the food of Tilapia, Barbus and Mugil and of certain predators, viz. Anguilla, Clarias and Bagrus, the breeding of Tilapia and Clarias and the production rate of Cyprinus carpio, alone and mixed with Tilapia, Barbus, mullet etc. Hydrobiological and chemical surveys and primary productivity studies of cultivable waters like the Nozha Hydrodrome, parts of Lake Mariut etc. have been made.
Mullet transplantation started in 1920 in the Mariut Lake has been extended to other lakes including the inland brackish-water lake of Qarun. Fry of eel and sole have also been transplanted from Mex to the Qarun Lake where they have established themselves. The economics of such operations have been worked out recently. Among the exotic fish species which have been introduced into the U.A.R. are: Cyprinus carpio, Tilapia mossambica and the Chinese carp, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix. T. mossambica has been observed to be affected adversely by the low winter temperature while H. molitrix fingerlings have been thriving. T. macrochir and T. melanopleura are being tried for checking weeds and snails in the control of bilharzia. Indian major carps, viz., Labeo rohita, Catla catla and Cirrhina mrigala have also been proposed to be introduced.
Reliable figures of inland fish production from pond culture in the U.A.R. are not available, and the yield from the Nile River and from pond culture together reported to be 15 percent of the total catch is mostly from wild stocks.
In Syria, in the course of the past one decade of effort with the assistance of FAO experts, an experimental fish culture station has been established at Kalaat el Moudik, and a Fish Culture Training Centre organized in the premises. Besides raising fish crops for the market on a pilot project basis, fingerlings of different sizes required for stocking purposes are being produced at the farm. The inland waters have been surveyed and a commercial fish farm at Ain Taka has been designed. Large pieces of water like the Homs, the Ran and the Muzerib Lakes and the Rastane Barrage have been stocked.
Among the species dealt with at the station are: the common carp, C. carpio, introducted from Egypt, the Tiberias stock of carp, the indigenous tilapia, viz., T. zillii and T. galilaea and the local catfish, Clarias lazera.
The problems tackled at the farm include general pond management, breeding, hatching, nursery work, fertilization with superphosphate, artificial feeding with cotton seed cake and wheat bran, control of the fish parasite Argulus, and mixed-farming, including the raising of ducks in fish ponds.
Pisciculture in Iran had, in the past, been limited to a small effort at artificial breeding and stocking of sturgeon fry in the Caspian Sea. The FAO/EPTA expert assigned for an investigation on the inland fishery resources suggested, among other items, the introduction of the North American striped bass (Roccus sexatilis); but in view of the availability of other food fish species, the local authorities have not yet considered it desirable. In the opinion of the FAO expert the Karaj Lake, while not suitable for warm-water fish production, could be utilized for the sport fishery of trout. He found that a rich source of brine shrimp (Artemia) eggs for feeding sturgeon fry in hatcheries was available in the Razieh Lake, which otherwise would not be suitable for rearing fish on account of its high salinity and mineral contents.
Trout culture has been established at the Karaj trout farm and some stocking has been done in the Karaj and Sefi Rud dams and in the Sefi Rud and Djadje streams. In addition to continuing the stocking of suitable cold waters in Iran with trout, the farm authorities are keen to develop warm-water fish culture in the different cultivable waters in Iran.
In Iraq, after a survey of the inland waters, including the cultivable ones, with the assistance of an FAO/TA expert, an experimental fish farm has been established at Zafaraniyah. The Japanese and Indonesian stocks of the common carp, C. carpio var. flavipinnis and five local species (Barbus xanthopterus, B. grypus, B. sharpeyi, B. luteus and Mugil hishni have been reared and studied.
Among exotic species which have been introduced into Iraq are: Tilapia nilotica and T. zillii from Egypt. Problems investigated at the experimental fish farm are: age and growth, food and feeding, predators and their control etc.
Carp fingerlings have been distributed to private fish pond owners especially at Latafiya, to garden pools and school tanks. Stocking has also been effected in larger pieces of water like the Habbaniya and the Wadi Thartar Lakes.
Spawning grounds in a few recognized sections of the Euphrates-Tigris System are being protected under fishery regulations, although the machinery to exercise the control appears to be inadequate.
The limitations of staff and funds have been in the way of speedy progress of the work over the widely distributed inland water bodies in Iraq.
In Jordan, a few stray attempts in fish farming have been made as in the Azrak and Ain Fashka springs and in a private garden pond at Jericho. Moreover, the piscicultural possibilities of several other springs, pools, catchments, reservoirs and channels have been recognized, and a program for initiating the work is being started with the assignment of an FAO/TA expert.
There is hardly any fish culture in Libya as also in Somalia and the entire Arabian Peninsula, although in some of the oases pools and irrigation and drain channels in Saudi Arabia as at Hofuf and Jabrain, larvicidal fish were introduced for malaria control and frog culture was attempted.
In Kuwait, no fish farming exists. The limited prospects for the culture of fish, shrimp and shell fish in the coastal backwaters, especially in Kheisan and of warm-water pond fishes in some of the brackish-water springs, canals and drains remain to be explored, though interest in this field has recently been expressed by some private individuals.
In Lebanon, an attempt to establish carp culture at a fish farm constructed at Terbol has not been successful on account of water shortage. A departmental trout culture centre has been established at the Anjar springs, and there are a few private hatcheries at Zahle and Jessine for rearing trout. Carp culture in reservoirs is undertaken by a few private parties around Beirut, while others have expressed some interest in brackish-water culture near the coast.
In Afghanistan, the solitary case of fish culture is found in the Paghman hatchery of the Royal family where trout is reared, though some of the fish are reported to have been transplanted in a few reservoirs in the Kabul area.
In view of the popularity of fish as an adjunct to the sweet “jillaebi”, there is scope for the development of fish culture on a modest scale by stocking selected pieces of available water bodies with species that can withstand the climatic extremes of Afghanistan.
Although there is no fish culture at present in Yemen, with the return of the FAO-sponsored Yemeni Fellow, after his training at Kalaat el Moudik, it should be possible to initiate the survey of the cultivable waters, especially the reservoirs, irrigation channels, farm ponds and institutional tanks and to establish fish culture on a modest scale.
Statistical data concerning pisciculture in the Near East are, unfortunately, very meagre, and those available are being presented in an appendix to this report. However, from the foregoing pages it would be obvious that with progressive improvements in the amount of attention to fishery development bestowed by the Governments of the Near East, specially in land-locked areas, with the public's appreciation of the production potential of the valuable cultivable waters distributed in the different countries of the region and with the strengthening of the technical manpower in fisheries organizations, pisciculture will come to play a role of considerable importance in the Near East region.
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Statistics of progress in fish culture1 in the Near East 1960 – 1964
|Country||Year||PONDS||RICE FIELDS||Fish crop produced in m.tons||REMARKS|
|Fresh water||Brackish water||Fresh water||Brackish water||Stocking material in million|
|No of Unit||No of ponds||Area in ha||No of Unit||No of ponds||Area in ha||No of Unit||Area in ha||No of Unit||Area in ha||From hatcheries||From nature|
|U.A.R.||1960||3(a)||39||133||1||9||4||Figures not available||Figures not||3.8(c)||(a) The three units are State owned experimental fish farms|
(b) Private farms.
(c) Mullets only; for stocking enclosed lakes of Qarun and Edku and Nezha Hydrodrome
|1964||Figures not available||7.1|
|IRAQ||1960||2||37||4||NIL||Figures not||0.015(d)||(d) Carps|
|JORDAN||1960||Data not available||NIL||Figures not||NIL|
1 In the absence, in most of the Near East countries, of adequate agencies for statistics collection and compilation, neither completeness nor accuracy of the data is claimed.