In Gaza Strip, fish farms bring relief to seafood lovers …

Posted By on June 11, 2015

In this Friday, June 5, 2015 photo, Palestinian children play on a fishing boat as fishermen prepare their fishing nets at the sea port of Gaza City. The Gaza Strip, with a 40-kilometer (25-mile) Mediterranean coastline, was always known for its seafood until Israel restricted the fishing area. As a result, Palestinians have begun importing fish and other seafood from Israel or Egypt and _ in recent years _ building fish farms. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)(The Associated Press)

In this Friday, June 5, 2015 photo, two Palestinian fishermen clean up a fishing net while standing on a boat at the seaport of Gaza City. The Gaza Strip, with a 40-kilometer (25-mile) Mediterranean coastline, was always known for its seafood until Israel restricted the fishing area. As a result, Palestinians have begun importing fish and other seafood from Israel or Egypt and _ in recent years _ building fish farms. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)(The Associated Press)

In this Tuesday, June 2, 2015 photo, a Palestinian worker feeds fish in a pool at Fish Fresh fish farm, in the town of Rafah, southern Gaza strip. The Gaza Strip, with a 40-kilometer (25-mile) Mediterranean coastline, was always known for its seafood until Israel restricted the fishing area. As a result, Palestinians have begun importing fish and other seafood from Israel or Egypt and _ in recent years _ building fish farms. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)(The Associated Press)

In this Tuesday, June 2, 2015 photo, a Palestinian worker feeds fish in a pool at Fish Fresh fish farm, in the town of Rafah, southern Gaza strip. The Gaza Strip, with a 40-kilometer (25-mile) Mediterranean coastline, was always known for its seafood until Israel restricted the fishing area. As a result, Palestinians have begun importing fish and other seafood from Israel or Egypt and _ in recent years _ building fish farms. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)(The Associated Press)

In this Wednesday, June 3, 2015 photo, a Palestinian worker is seen reflected in the water as thousands of small fish swim in a pool at a fish farm, in the town of Rafah, southern Gaza strip. The Gaza Strip, with a 40-kilometer (25-mile) Mediterranean coastline, was always known for its seafood until Israel restricted the fishing area. As a result, Palestinians have begun importing fish and other seafood from Israel or Egypt and _ in recent years _ building fish farms. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)(The Associated Press)

KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip The Gaza Strip, with a 40-kilometer (25-mile) Mediterranean coastline, was always known for its seafood until Israel restricted the fishing area.

As a result, Palestinians have begun importing fish and other seafood from Israel or Egypt and in recent years building fish farms.

Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza in 2006 after Hamas militants captured an Israeli soldier and tightened the closure the following year after Hamas seized control of the territory. Israel says the restrictions are needed to prevent Hamas, a militant group sworn to its destruction, from smuggling weapons into the territory. The sides have fought three wars since the Hamas takeover.

At times of heightened tensions, the fishing zone was barely three nautical miles. Today, it is six miles, still half of the pre-blockade distance.

The fish farms have helped bring down prices of the popular sea bream fish. But another popular item, shrimp, remains extremely expensive, costing up to $25 a kilogram ($11 a pound).

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