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UAE discusses boosting fish wealth

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Climate Change and Environment Minister Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri recently chaired the first meeting of the Supreme Council for the Exploitation, Conservation and Exploitation of Aquatic Living Resources for 2023.

The central objective of the meeting was to assess the Commission’s strategic plan to increase the country’s fish stocks, ensure their sustainability, and develop effective solutions to overcome the challenges faced by the sector.

The meeting was attended by Dr Mohammad Salman Al Hammadi, Assistant Undersecretary for Biodiversity and Marine Life at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, as well as representatives from various entities, including the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Energy. Ministry of Economy, Human Resources and Emiratisation, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), Sharjah Fish Resources Authority (SFRA), Ajman City and Planning Department, Ras Al Khaimah Environmental Protection and Development Authority (RAK EPDA ), Fujairah Environment Agency Coast Guard, Fishing Bio-Aquatic Resources Management Council – Dubai, and Marine Affairs and Bio-Aquatic Resources Management Council – Umm Al Qaiwain.

In his speech, Almheiri said: “The Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment places great importance on developing and ensuring the sustainability of fish stocks as it is an integral part of achieving local food security. This important meeting comes during the Year of Sustainable Development The timing is ideal as the UAE is about to host the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) this year and we are redoubled efforts to highlight our work in the field of climate change and across all relevant sectors.”

She added, “Protecting and developing the UAE’s living aquatic resources is one of the top priorities in our efforts to apply the best sustainable systems to achieve a range of objectives, including enhancing national food security through increased exploitation of fish wealth, promoting the UAE’s biodiversity, ensuring sustainability in all relevant sectors and contributing to reducing the carbon footprint of these sectors.”

During the meeting, recommendations from the previous meeting of the Supreme Council for the Exploitation, Protection and Exploitation of Aquatic Living Resources were considered. These include researching new fishing vessel licenses, ways to replace inactive licenses with new ones, developing programs to empower women in the fishing industry, and regulating the export of aquatic life and jet ski fishing.

The meeting also discussed the development of fishermen’s port infrastructure and enhancing the safety and security of fishermen and critical facilities through maintenance projects and rehabilitation of multiple ports to ensure their conservation and sustainability. In addition to discussing updates to fish stock surveys and reviewing the capabilities of the Geon research vessel.

The meeting highlighted Ras Al Khaimah’s practices and efforts in organizing fishing. The results of the monitoring of plastic waste in the marine and coastal environment and the action plan of the Supreme Council for the Exploitation, Conservation and Exploitation of Aquatic Living Resources for the next phase were also presented.

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