Aim for sustainable development by conserving and suitably using marine ocean & sea resources
The factors include high levels of pollution and habitat degradation in coastal areas, coastal development projects and building in fishing waterways, and the use of boats for commercial fishing.
In addition to investing in research and development, the UAE has been actively addressing overfishing and protecting the marine ecosystem through laws, legislation, and regulations. Fisheries are governed primarily by Federal Law No. 23, which was passed in 1999 and which addresses the exploitation, preservation, and development of aquatic life resources.
An amendment (Federal Law No. 7) that addresses a number of concerns, including licencing duration, processes, controlling fishing gear and equipment, and harmonisation with local authorities, was created in 2016 as a result of efforts to update the law in response to contemporary challenges.
A decree governing recreational fishing was released in 2017 and specifies the licencing process as well as the gears allowed for usage. In addition, the quantity of fishing boats is limited (Executive Regulations No. 372 of 2013). Additionally, in an effort to replenish overfished fish supplies, the UAE imposes fishing limits during specific fish species’ breeding seasons.
Five species are currently subject to seasonal fishing limits, and plans call for adding more species to the list in the future. A number of projects have been made to restore coral reefs and ecosystems through the development of mangroves and natural coral reefs in an effort to further improve the stocks.
Additionally, a number of research organisations with offices in the UAE carry out investigations and studies on fisheries and the maritime environment. The Department of Climatic Changes and Environment’s Marine Ecosystem Research Center is one notable instance; it coordinates investigations with local and international research and academic institutes.
Their research focuses on super coral reefs, which can withstand both the local hard conditions and the consequences of climate change, spawning and nursery locations, overview of data surveys of specific local species, tracking red tide & water quality, and identifying spawning and nursery areas.
It is significant that the UAE built the first research centre in the world in 2016 to investigate the feasibility and scaling-up possibilities of an integrated, renewable bioenergy system that generates food and fuel without needing arable land or fresh water in a desert landscape.
The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, which is made up of top aviation industry players like Etihad Airways and Boeing, funds this facility. It is operated by the Masdar Science and Technology Institute. If this technology is developed successfully, it could help to protect the world’s food supply, cut carbon emissions, and clean up the water that is impacted by commercial shrimp and fish aquaculture.