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Hasan Fashwal has been fishing off the Ain al-Mreisseh Corniche for over 30 years.Today, Fashwal sits alongside two white buckets – one filled with bait, the other intended to hold the increasingly elusive fish he hopes to catch. In front of him, three long rods extend out toward the sea.Fashwal, 68, works a stable job in construction and has many children and grandchildren, but he still finds time to travel the 3 kilometers from his house to the corniche at least twice a week.Several recent reports have suggested that Lebanon's fishermen are struggling to catch enough to make a living, often earning under $300 a month.Ahmad, a 29-year-old Syrian from the Golan Heights who preferred not to disclose his last name, has only been fishing off the corniche for five years. But he agreed with Fashwal's assessment that there were fewer fish to go around.An unemployed former carpenter's assistant, Ahmad comes to the cornice to fish every day at 6 a.m. and stays until nightfall, when different species are to be found. When The Daily Star passed by, Ahmad seemed to have had much more luck than others nearby, having caught nearly a dozen small, silver-speckled fish that he called "mouwasta".
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