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Monday, March 4, 2024

“Abu Dhabi Launches World’s First Satellite-Based Kingfish Tracking Project in the UAE”

Tracking Project Abu Dhabi takes a leap into uncharted waters with the introduction of the world’s inaugural satellite tracking project for kingfish. Spearheaded by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) and the United Arab Emirates University, this groundbreaking initiative aims to revolutionize the management of migratory fisheries in the emirate.

Project Uniqueness and Scope

Unprecedented Focus on Kingfish

Ahmed Al Hashemi, the Executive Director of the Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD, underscores the distinctive nature of the project. While similar endeavors have tracked various marine species globally, this initiative marks the first of its kind dedicated to studying kingfish in the Arabian Gulf.

Significance of Kingfish

Selected for its economic, nutritional, and cultural importance, kingfish stands out as the most captured migratory species in Abu Dhabi. The project seeks to unravel the migratory patterns and behaviors of these prized fish, offering invaluable insights for sustainable fisheries management.

Technological Process and Challenges: Tracking Project

Cutting-Edge Tracking Technology

The tracking process involves attaching devices to the dorsal fins of kingfish, allowing for the study of their migration and behavior. Swift attachment is crucial to minimize stress, and the devices autonomously detach after a predetermined period, initiating satellite communication to relay essential data.

Challenges in Tracking Kingfish

Al Hashemi outlines the challenges posed by the kingfish’s unique characteristics. Its smooth body and smaller size compared to other tracked species add complexity to the tracking process, distinguishing it from conventional scientific fishing practices.

Initial Findings and Future Implications: Tracking Project

Data Insights and Project Expansion

Eight tracking devices have already been deployed, offering a glimpse into the kingfish’s remarkable behavior. Initial findings showcase impressive distances covered and rapid speeds. The comprehensive study, involving a total of 18 devices, aims to provide recommendations for sustainable fishery resource management.

Strides in Scientific Understanding

The project signifies a significant advancement in scientific understanding and resource management in Abu Dhabi’s waters, setting a precedent for future studies and initiatives in marine conservation and research.

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