Located in the Persian Gulf, The Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands. The largest island is Bahrain, which translates as "two seas." Bahrain comprises 83 percent of the country's total land mass.
Approximately 8 million tourists each year visit Bahrain. Many of them come from other Arab countries, though the number of tourists from beyond the region is increasing. Bahrain offers visitors a rich history, relaxing beaches and opportunities for fishing and diving.
The water surrounding Bahrain is shallow. Many land reclamation projects are underway. Coral reefs lie close to the island, many along the eastern and northern sides of the island. Over 300 species can be found in Bahrain's waters. Some types of tropical fish include angel fish, parrot fish, barracuda, grouper and clown fish. In the spring, sting rays can be seen sunning themselves on the sand banks.
Oil drives Bahrain's economy, but fishing remains an important industry in Bahrain. Fish is both exported and used for domestic consumption, including shrimp, finfish, crabs, lobster, rabbit fish and cuttlefish. The most important fishery in Bahrain is the shrimp fishery.
Recreational fishing trips can be arranged through most large hotels, tour agencies, or the Bahrain Yacht Club. Though these is plentiful Spanish mackerel in the shallow waters surrounding Bahrain, the fish population of the inner reefs has been substantially lowered due to overfishing. For the best catch, you need to go out at least 3 to 6 miles from shore.
However, you can always sit on one of the bridges that connects the islands or one of the stretches of reclaimed land that juts out from the shore and fish from there. You can purchase fishing equipment such as lures, lines and rods from the souk. The main super markets also carry a small selection of fishing equipment.
Due land reclamation, industrial pollution and over-fishing, Bahrain's fishing industry is severely threatened. Fish stocks are quickly being depleted and immature fish are being caught before they have a chance to reproduce. Approximately 3 million tons of sand is taken from Bahrain's waters each year for construction purposes, harming the marine environment. The coral reefs are dying at a rapid rate.
In 2009, the General Directorate for the Protection of Marine Resources (GDPMR) of Kingdom of Bahrain renewed a marine resources pact with the United Arab Emirates with the goal of protecting and conserving marine life.
Getting to Bahrain
Bahrain International Airport is the country's main airport as well as the hub of the international airline Gulf Air. Numerous daily flights are offered throughout the region, as well as flights to Asia, Europe and North America.
The King Fahd Causeway links Saudi Arabia to Bahrain. The planned Qatar--Bahrain Friendship Bridge will link Qatar with Bahrain.