Decree regulating surface fishing using surrounding nets now enforced by UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment

DUBAI — The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MoCCaE, has begun enforcing Ministerial Decree No. 695 for the year 2016 on regulating surface fishing using surrounding nets. The resolution reflects the ministry’s aim to regulate professional fishing to preserve, develop and ensure the sustainability of fish stocks, and enhance food security by protecting fish stocks from depletion.

Salah Abdullah Al Rayssi, Director of the Sustainability of Marine and Coastal Environments at MoCCaE, said, “In line with the objectives of the ministry’s strategy and as a core pillar of the UAE Vision 2021, this decision promotes food safety, sustainability of domestic production and conservation of marine environment. By banning surface fishing during a specific period of time, the ministry aims to support the preservation, development and sustainability of fish stocks by allowing them time to lay eggs and set off on migration.”

The legislation regulates surface fishing using surrounding nets by standardising the specifications of the seines that should be used during the hunt. A seine is a fishing net that hangs vertically in the water with its bottom edge held down by weights and its top edge buoyed by floats.

The legislation also specified the open season for surface fishing to be in the period from 15th October of every year to 15th May of the following year, to avoid depletion of fish as they are an important and dependable source of nourishment.

In a press statement released today, Al Rayssi indicated that the Decree stipulates the specifications of nets used for fishing in both western and eastern coasts, with the maximum length of the net at 1,100m and maximum width of the net is 20m and should not touch the seabed, while in in eastern coasts the maximum width of net is 28m and should not touch the seabed. “The net should not be closed from the bottom while catching the surface fish using surrounding net, and the net should not be tied with more than one boat,” he added.

Mr. Al Rayssi explained that prohibited areas for fishing include natural or industrial marine reserves, inland waters such as natural or artificial lakes, areas that fall within three nautical miles from military zones or marine islands or vital facilities, power stations and desalination plants on the coast, or located within 500 meters outside the boundaries of petroleum industrial areas specified on marine charts.

“All fishermen should go through the check-points of the concerned fishing areas when they go fishing and on their return. All fishermen should register under his specific area of fishing and should inform the authority in case of changing the fishing area, obeying all fishing and safety rules of each emirate,” Al Rayssi concluded.

Source: Emirates News Agency

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