(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Katara's third annual Senyar traditional pearl diving and fishing competition began yesterday evening in the Sealine area, in which 59 teams are vying for QR1.5m in prizes.
Aboard sambuk dhows provided by Katara, the teams which came from various parts of the country, including Doha, Al Wakrah and Al Khor, sailed towards Sealine for the official start of the competition which will last four days.
Prior to the start of the competition, the judging committee checked all 59 dhows to ensure the teams had met all requirements from equipment to safety and that the boats were empty of fish and oyster.
The dhows were classified into six groups and assigned red, yellow, green, blue, white and orange colours.
Jihad Al Jidah, Chairman, judging committee, urged the participants to stick to rules as any team caught violating them would be disqualified from the competition or lose 50kg of their catch.
All participants should also follow the traditional way of fishing and pearl diving and protect the aquatic environment by not leaving any waste in the sea, said Jidah, specifying marine animals that should not be caught, including dolphin, tortoise, swordfish and sea cow.
The top three teams in traditional pearl diving will receive QR300,000, QR200,000 and QR150,000, respectively. Similar prizes will be awarded to the winning teams in the traditional fishing competition.
In addition, QR100,000 will be awarded to the team which catches the biggest fish.
The public can also participate in the contest by guessing who the winning teams could be on the last day of the competition.
Eight people from the public who guess the winners right will receive QR5,000 each.
"The competition is important because it plays a vital role in the revival of customs and traditions of our forefathers with regard to our maritime heritage, which is passed on from one generation to another," said Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, General Manager, Katara.
It is a means to bind the people of Qatar with our rich marine environment and culture and promote the values of patience, endurance and solidarity as they undertake challenging tasks during their journey, he added.