Fishing is an important source of domestic food and fodder. Per capita annual consumption of fish and shellfish in the UAE is more than any other country in the Middle East. UAE coastal waters abound in fish and shellfish, and the country borders two high-potential fishing regions, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Many varieties of fish are caught, including rock cod, tuna, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, jack, marlin, red mullet, bream, and snapper. Over 70% of the catch typically is dried and processed into animal feed and fertilizer. The fish catch in 2000 was 105,456 tons, which supplied about 50% of local demand. Modern fishing techniques have been introduced with government assistance, and two new ports permitting the use of larger fishing boats were opened in 1981. The government also provides facilities for ship maintenance pro bono, as well as interest-free loans for the purchase of fishing boats and equipment. More than 3,000 fishing vessels annually operate in UAE waters. Umm Al Quwain is the site of a new 1,300 sq m marine farm which will research fish breeding. A fishmeal plant is in operation in Ra's al-Khaimah.