Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, the UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), recently presided over the inaugural meeting of 2023 for the Supreme Committee for the Exploitation, Protection, and Development of Living Aquatic Resources. The meeting’s central objective was to assess the committee’s strategic plan to augment the nation’s fish stocks, guarantee their sustainability, and devise effective solutions to surmount challenges faced by related sectors.
The meeting was attended by His Excellency Dr Mohammed Salman Al Hammadi, Assistant Undersecretary for Biodiversity and Marine Life Sector at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, along with representatives from a variety of entities including the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), Sharjah Fish Resources Authority (SFRA), Ajman Municipality and Planning Department, Ras Al Khaimah Environment Protection and Development Authority (RAK EPDA), Fujairah Environment Authority, UAE Coast Guard, Committee for the Regulation of Catching Living Aquatic Resources – Dubai, and Committee for the Regulation of Maritime Affairs and Living Aquatic Resources – Umm Al Quwain.
In her speech, Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri said: “The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment places great emphasis on developing and ensuring the sustainability of fish wealth as it is one of the components of achieving local food security. This important meeting comes at an ideal time during the Year of Sustainability and as the UAE is about to host the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) this year, where we are working to double our efforts to highlight our work in the field of climate change and all related sectors.”
She added: “Protecting and developing living aquatic resources in the UAE is one of the top priorities through which we strive to apply the best sustainable systems in order to achieve a set of goals, including enhancing national food security by increasing the development of fish wealth, promoting biodiversity in the UAE, ensuring the sustainability of all relevant sectors, and contributing to reducing the carbon footprint of these sectors.”
During the meeting, recommendations from the previous meeting of the Supreme Committee for the Exploitation, Protection, and Development of Living Aquatic Resources were reviewed. These included the study of new fishing boat licenses, methods of replacing ineffective licenses with new ones, creating a plan for women’s empowerment in the fishing industry, as well as regulating the export of aquatic life and fishing using water scooters.
The meeting also discussed the development of infrastructure for fishermen’s ports and enhancing the safety and security of fishermen and vital facilities through maintenance projects and rehabilitation of several ports to ensure their protection and sustainability. This was in addition to discussing updates on fish stock surveys and reviewing the capabilities of the Geon research vessel.
The meeting highlighted the practices and efforts of Ras Al Khaimah in organizing fishing. The results of monitoring plastic waste in the marine and coastal environment were also presented, along with the action plan of the Supreme Committee for the Exploitation, Protection, and Development of Living Aquatic Resources in the upcoming period.