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Fishing in East Coast Banned Till Red Tides Disappear.

Summary: UMM AL QUWAIN u Fishermen are banned from fishing in the East coast of the country until red tides disappear completely even as the Ministry of Environment and Water explores new methods of increasing productivity, a top official from the Ministry of Environment and Water told Khaleej Times.

Red tides, which have spread in most parts of the East coast, are still concentrated in the area of Khor Fakan, Sumberied, Port Dibe and next to the Port of Al Luliya, said Ibrahim Al Jamali, Director of the Centre for Marine Environmental Research, Ministry of Environment and Water. "There has also been a few and sporadic increases in Fiqit beach, Port Fujairah, and C next to Kalba."

While the authorities are controlling the red tides, the ministry has also signed a partnership agreement with a fishing company, Mubarak, to study, protect and boost the fish stock in Umm Al Quwain.

The agreement will help deepen the research related to aquaculture, as well as reducing the fishing effort on the fish stock of the country, said Mariam Al Shenasi, Executive Director for Technical Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Water. "It will also provide the desired fish in the local market where the company will work to produce at least one million fingerlings annually - such as the fish species, grouper," said C Al Shenasi.

The merger between the state and the private sector will increase production, and can be used as a scientific handbook for marine fish hatcheries, said Obaid Jumah Al Matrooshi, Director General of the Ministry of Environment and Water. Aa

The technical team from the Centre for Marine Environmental Research in the Ministry of Environment and Water, continue to control and monitor the movement of red tide which has emerged recently on a number of areas around the East coast, said Al Jamali. They have also taken samples of the tides which proved to be of the same type of the previous tides. At present, no fish have been reported dead, C said Al Jamali.

But, fishermen revealed heavy losses due to the red tide, estimated to be in thousands of dirhams. They have also demanded urgent compensation from the state as they represent a sector of society unable to cope with the crisis. AaAa

"I have been fishing throughout the year ever since my retirement, with the exception of the summer," said a fisherman, Hassan Ibrahim Bidiyah.

He is unable to fish in the summer, causing him even bigger losses since the rise in temperatures is too much for him to bear. The high temperature also damages his boat, said Bidiyah. "I raise my boat up in the port during the summer to protect it from any harm because of the heat."

Speaking to Khaleej Times , CEO, Water Resources and Natural Conservation Affairs, Saif Mohamed Al Shara'a said there are many Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in UAE, including one in Umm Al Quwain. "These MPAs are designated to protect the breeding grounds of aquatic animals and to preserve the diversity and ecology of the area."

There is no quota system in UAE, and there are no restrictions on volume of fishermen's catch provided they abide by other regulations imposed by the emirates concerned and those of the UAE, said Al Shara'a.

"To protect the fish in the waters of the UAE, there are many regulations and laws issued by Ministry of Environment and Water which includes the minimum catch size limit, open and banned seasons, type of gears used and mesh size of gears, area of fishing and many more of this sort," C said Al Shara'a.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Sep 14, 2009
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