DUBAI, 10th February, 2022 (WAM) — The Supreme Committee for the Exploitation, Protection and Development of Living Aquatic Resources held its first meeting of 2022, presided over by Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment.
The meeting drew the participation of Major General Ahmed Mohammed bin Thani, Chairman of the Regulatory Committee on Fishing of Living Aquatic Resources in Dubai; Hana Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah; Asilah Abdullah Al Mualla, Director-General of the Fujairah Environment Authority; Dr. Saif Mohammed Al Ghais, Director of the Environment Protection and Development Authority of Ras Al Khaimah; Hessa Al Malek, Advisor to the Minister for Maritime Transport Affairs at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure; Abdullah Sultan Alfan Alshamsi, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Trade Remedies Sector at the Ministry of Economy; Aisha Belharfia, Assistant Under-Secretary for Labour Affairs at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization; Ahmed Al Hashemi, Acting Executive Director of the Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi; Sheikha Abdullah Al Shamsi, Acting Director-General of the Department of Economic Development in Umm Al Quwain, and Khalid Mueen Al Hosani, Executive Director of the Public Health and Environment Sector at Ajman Municipality and Planning Department.
Almheiri said, “We rely heavily on seafood in our diet as a sustainable and healthy source of protein. We are committed to protecting our marine wealth and scaling up R&D in this area to increase the contribution of seafood products to our food security. The growing share of aquaculture in meeting the global demand for seafood underscores its appeal as a lucrative investment. Therefore, we are working on developing the sector locally by promoting investment and entrepreneurship and upgrading fishing regulations in cooperation with our stakeholders.”
The meeting featured presentations on six MOCCAE-led initiatives to boost aquaculture. These involved an evaluation of aquaculture systems at marine sites that has contributed to determining suitable aquaculture technology as per the UAE’s environmental and hydrographic conditions, issuing the second edition of the atlas of prospective aquaculture sites, and conducting a preliminary feasibility study of certain fish species.
The second initiative was a study of consumer patterns and choices to explore fish purchasing preferences to develop adequate broodstock of locally produced species.
The third initiative was a farm-level biosecurity guide to build capacities and enhance knowledge to mitigate biosecurity threats to aquaculture operations.
Other initiatives included increasing the competitiveness of closed aquaculture systems by adopting value engineering to improve performance, functions, and cost, issuing the second edition of the UAE Aquaculture Pulse. This document helps evaluate investment opportunities in local aquaculture and identifies the requirements for compiling a seafood consumption database in the UAE as a reference for investors and stakeholders.
The meeting highlighted the importance of attracting the private sector and stimulating investments in aquaculture production inputs. In addition, members reiterated the need for more cooperation and coordination between local authorities to map specific areas in each emirate suitable for aquaculture projects.
The committee discussed ways to promote the participation of young entrepreneurs and small investors in the aquaculture sector by designing small-scale, low-cost fish farms and liaising with financing entities to fund such projects.
MOCCAE introduced the committee members to its ongoing project that seeks to establish a fishing regulation committee in each emirate to complement the work of the concerned entities. In addition, the committees will oversee the thorough implementation of federal legislation and resolutions related to protecting living aquatic resources to curb violations and regulate fishing.
The Regulatory Committee on Fishing of Living Aquatic Resources in Dubai shared its experience at the meeting. The committee was formed to increase local commercial fish production by 2030.