UAE: Authorities crackdown on sale of banned fish species during breeding season

Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority prohibits fishing and marketing these two species during breeding season in order to ensure their sustainability


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Published: Mon 30 Jan 2023, 5:58 PM

Last updated: Mon 30 Jan 2023, 6:41 PM

The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has launched a campaign to crackdown on fishermen and traders flouting the law that bans fishing and marketing of goldlined seabream and king soldier bream during breeding season.

ADAFSA said the awareness drive is to implement Ministerial Resolution No. 1 of 2021 issued by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment on the regulation of fishing and marketing of Goldlined Seabream (Rhabdosargus sarba) and King Soldier Bream (Argyrops spinifer) during the breeding season in fishing waters in all regions of the country.

The aim is to give these species of fish the opportunity to grow and reproduce in a way that ensures their sustainability and enhances and increases fish stocks.

The ministerial decision prohibits the fishing and trade of goldlined seabream and king soldier bream during their breeding season which began in 2021, during a specific period from February 1 to 28 of each year. It also bans the sales of these species regardless of their origin in all fish markets and retail outlets over the same period.

ADAFSA monitors the implementation of this decision throughout the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and is eager to launch an awareness campaign to emphasize the significance of executing the decision to protect the survival of fish supplies.

The awareness campaign is being launched for the third consecutive year as part of the cooperation between ADAFSA and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to preserve natural systems, increase the stock of living aquatic resources and maintain local production, as the development and sustainability of fisheries is a key objective within the goals of the Abu Dhabi Strategic Plan.

The campaign aims to raise awareness in the Emirate's central fish markets and fish outlets in shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and kitchens, as well as companies that import and re-export fish products.

The inspectors assigned to implement the campaign use several languages to introduce the importance of implementing the resolution and its effects on the continued growth of these two species of fish such as Arabic, English, Malayalam and Urdu.

ADAFSA has stressed that fish stocks represent one of the natural resources that must be maintained, which contributes to enhancing biodiversity and increasing fish stocks. They also noted that prohibiting fishing in the spawning seasons is one of the scientific methods used globally in maintaining and sustaining fish stocks, in addition to ensuring the biodiversity of many fish populations.

As per the decision, fishermen must release any of these two species caught accidentally in their fishing gear during the restricted period back into the water. It also cancels Ministerial Resolution No. 501 of 2015 regulating the fishing and trade of Sheri (emperor fish) and Arabian Safi (rabbit fish) during the breeding season.


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