Video credit: Sherif Sadek (Egypt)
Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the video channel)
Egypt continues to be the world leader in mullet aquaculture, producing over 157,000 tons in 2015 whereas the culture of mullet relies solely on the collection of wild seed.
The collection of wild fry in Egypt in designated sites is controlled by the General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFARD) and carried out by private fishermen under the direct supervision of GAFRD after the permission of coastal guard. Licensed fishermen provide the fishing gears and all collecting and handling equipment as well as the fry reservoir boat shown in the video. Officially, fishermen receive a share of the sale price of the collected fry while the other share is kept for covering the running cost and maintenance of the collecting stations. One may notice that the boat reservoir of mullet fry is directly connected with the sea through screened windows.
The price of collected is determined by GAFRD and announced by an official decree. Collected fry are either sold directly to licensed fish farms according to official quota established by GAFRD, while part of the catch is used for the stock enhancement of specific Egyptian lakes. Another part of collected fry are transported to state nurseries where they are sold as fingerlings afterwards.
Among the collecting stations there are two stations which are specialized in the collection of keeled mullet (Liza carinata) as this species is more tolerant to high salinity which occurs in the Red Sea system. The one shown in this video is in Suez. Regardless the lower growth rate and the smaller size of keeled mullet, the species enjoys premium market price and higher demand compared to the key mullet species especially when processed as salted fish. In a quick shot, one can see the trucks of fish farms waiting to receive their quotas of mullet fry.
It may worth noting that the collection of wild seed is expected to continue to form the basis of mullet culture in Egypt as long as the hatchery-produced mullet fry is not developed at commercial scale to provide the demanded fry at comparable prices to the wild ones.