Gaza's fishermen are readying their nets for deep water fishing after the ceasefire with Israel raised the prospect of an extended fishing area. As Hayley Platt reports they may even get their own sea port.
For Gaza's fishermen the ceasefire agreement with Israel means far more than an end to hostilities. It's opened up the possibility of a bigger fishing region. Officially, they can fish within 12 miles of the coast. But after Hamas took over Gaza in 2007 the Israeli navy gradually cut it down to 3 miles. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FISHERMAN ZIAD NAJJAR, SAYING: "As soon as the war ended, we fished out to 6 miles and thank God there were no problems - we hoped for 12 now." There are 3,700 full-time fishermen in the Gaza Strip serving 1.8 million Palestinians. Mediterranean grouper, bream, bass and snapper are the prized catch - they're served grilled or fried. Nizar Ayyash is head of the Fishermen's Syndicate. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEAD OF FISHERMEN SYNDICATE, NIZAR AYYASH, SAYING: "We would like to fish at 20 miles but we are happy with the 12 miles agreed by the Palestinian negotiators." Israel blockaded Gaza to prevent arms reaching Hamas. Now under a second stage of the truce there is even the prospect of Gaza being allowed to build its own sea port. That's been the dream for these fishermen for many years.