Gaza fishermen head to sea after Israel expands fishing zone

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.