Middle East

Gaza fishermen head to sea after Israel expands fishing zone

  • Palestinian fishermen display fish for sale  after a night long fishing trip, in Gaza seaport , Monday, April 4, 2016. Fishermen in Gaza can now sail farther from the coastal territory after Israel expanded the fishing zone off parts of Gaza by three more nautical miles to nine on Sunday. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

    Palestinian fishermen display fish for sale after a night long fishing trip, in Gaza seaport , Monday, April 4, 2016. Fishermen in Gaza can now sail farther from the coastal territory after Israel expanded the fishing zone off parts of Gaza by three more nautical miles to nine on Sunday. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)  (The Associated Press)

  • Palestinian fishermen display fish for sale after a night long fishing trip, in Gaza seaport , Monday, April 4, 2016. Fishermen in Gaza can now sail farther from the coastal territory after Israel expanded the fishing zone off parts of Gaza by three more nautical miles to nine on Sunday. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

    Palestinian fishermen display fish for sale after a night long fishing trip, in Gaza seaport , Monday, April 4, 2016. Fishermen in Gaza can now sail farther from the coastal territory after Israel expanded the fishing zone off parts of Gaza by three more nautical miles to nine on Sunday. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)  (The Associated Press)

  • Palestinian fishermen prepare fish for sale after a night long fishing trip, in Gaza seaport , Monday, April 4, 2016. Fishermen in Gaza can now sail farther from the coastal territory after Israel expanded the fishing zone off parts of Gaza by three more nautical miles to nine on Sunday. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

    Palestinian fishermen prepare fish for sale after a night long fishing trip, in Gaza seaport , Monday, April 4, 2016. Fishermen in Gaza can now sail farther from the coastal territory after Israel expanded the fishing zone off parts of Gaza by three more nautical miles to nine on Sunday. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)  (The Associated Press)

Gaza fishermen have returned from a 15-hour sail after Israel expanded the fishing zone from six to nine nautical miles.

The head of the Gaza fishermen's union Zakareya Bakr said Monday's haul was still rather paltry, with some 280 boats snatching up an average of eight kilograms (17 Ibs.) each. He said the catch included red mullet, sea bream, grouper and some small rays.

To prevent squabbling over fishing rights, Hamas — the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza — ordered that whoever reaches a new spot first can claim fishing rights in the area.

Israel set a limit in 2007 after Hamas seized Gaza from forces loyal to Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in bloody street battles. The new maritime perimeter expands the fishing zone off parts of Gaza.