Shorouk Awad (Dubai)
Hanadi Al Ali, Acting Director of the Marine Environment Research Department at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, confirmed that the ministry, in cooperation with governmental and private institutions, has strengthened its program of creating artificial habitats for the development of living aquatic resources during the year 2020, with 300 new artificial caves, bringing the total number in The various fisheries in the country’s territorial waters reached 3,400 artificial caves, with the aim of restoring marine habitats, building an artificial environment suitable for fish reproduction and increasing fish stocks and others. In statements to Al-Ittihad, Al Ali said that this step came as part of its tireless work to implement the various programs emanating from its main program of “creating artificial habitats for the development of living aquatic resources.” From the launch of the program in the year (2016) to the present day, About 3400 artificial caves in many fishery sites in our regional waters, and sites were chosen in areas close to the coasts of the country, to achieve several goals, including the establishment of aquatic habitats and incubators for young fish, restoring marine habitats, and building an artificial environment suitable for fish reproduction. Increasing the stock of fish wealth and developing it at the long term, in addition to encouraging fishermen to continue their profession by reducing the operational costs of the fishing trip and bringing them closer to the regions far from the coast of the country.
About the distribution of the caves that have been lowered in the various regional water sites? She said: The Ministry, in cooperation with strategic partners from government and private sector institutions, through the subprogramme represented by “artificial caves” within the main program referred to above, has succeeded in lowering many concrete caves, where each of 100 caves was lowered into the waters of the Emirate of Fujairah And 100 artificial caves in the waters of the “Ghantoot” area of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and 100 caves in the waters of the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain during the year (2020), while during the years preceding last year, they lowered 500 artificial caves in the waters of the Emirate of Fujairah, and (300) caves Cement in the waters of Umm Al Quwain, (300) cement caves in the waters of the emirate of Ajman, (100) caves in the waters of the emirate of Sharjah, (100) caves in the emirate of Dubai, (600) caves in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, in addition to a number Of the caves distributed in different areas in the waters of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Hanadi Al Ali indicated that, within the framework of efforts aimed at implementing feasible and sustainable solutions to meet the challenges of the marine environment, the Ministry has set up three sub-programs emanating from the main program of “Creating Artificial Habitats for the Development of Living Aquatic Resources”, including the first program, which is building industrial environments from During the establishment of artificial cave sites distributed in different areas in the regional fishing waters, and the second program of “coral cultivation”, which was launched in 2019 and aims to cultivate 1.5 million coral colonies over an area of more than 300 thousand square meters by 2024, as the Ministry has since launched this The program to this day, in partnership with the Fujairah Municipality, the Municipality of Dibba Fujairah and the Fujairah Adventure Center, has planted and installed 40055 pieces of coral in the various regions of the eastern coast of the country, and is being completed according to what is planned to achieve the desired goal, and the third program is “Mangroves in coastal areas », As the Ministry produces seeds for mangroves and takes care of them in its own research nursery, equips and cultivates them in some of the affected coastal areas, where more than 34 have been planted. 000 seedlings of them, and 100 thousand seeds until 2019, with a total area of 1.2 million square meters, stressing that the Ministry will continue implementing the program until all of its goals are achieved.
And about the main initial results that the ministry has seen after implementing the programs? The Acting Director of the Marine Environment Research Department at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment said: The most prominent results were the enrichment of marine biodiversity, and the remarkable increase in the diversity of marine organisms, especially in the areas of concrete caves that have been released, and places where coral reefs nest, where creatures and types of Fish were not previously present (such as Al-Haddi, Yaman, Bazimi, Al-Jad, and Anfouz), which indicated their importance in providing the appropriate environment for the revival of marine biodiversity and the revival of coastal areas, in addition to increasing the rates of biodiversity in the target area of the state’s waters, and enhancing and supporting stockpiles. Fish wealth in its territorial waters.
Hanadi Al Ali pointed out that the ministry, within its strategic objectives, seeks to protect and sustain the fishing sector in the UAE, due to its economic, social and heritage importance, and to intensify efforts to develop living aquatic resources, enhance the sustainability of this sector and enhance its contribution to national food security, by launching a package of Legislation and decisions to reduce the decline in fish wealth, and to enhance the ability of workers in this sector to continue fishing operations while preserving the catch, and to adopt innovative ideas for the sustainability of the state’s living water resources within its plans to foresee the future, indicating the importance of the program lies as one of the blue development tools to accelerate the tasks assigned In the Ministry regarding the development of the marine environment and its living aquatic wealth, and it will contribute to the multiplicity of the fungal diversity of the marine environment and the temporal and spatial prosperity of the marine food chain.
She indicated that the past years witnessed many decisions that would regulate fishing operations, increase the fish stock and maintain its sustainability by creating an integrated legislative system that organizes this sector, as the Ministry issued Ministerial Decree No. (103) which gives authority to fishermen and their associations to establish artificial landscapes within the specifications. And specific conditions, as well as decisions have been adopted to ban the hunting of certain types of fish during specific periods of the year, including periods of reproduction to ensure increased stocks and ensure their sustainability, including the Safi, Shary and sharks.
By the question whether artificial caves are safe for the health and safety of marine organisms? She confirmed that these artificial caves are made of environmentally friendly materials and are specially designed to simulate the marine environment and its components, which contributes to attracting fish to them due to their feeling of safety from any risks threatening their lives, and they are lowered into areas where fish gather in a thoughtful manner, as these caves are a safe haven and an ideal environment Many marine organisms and their reproduction, pointing out that these artificial caves are useful in several areas, including protecting beaches from strong marine currents, attracting tourists to do diving and enjoying its picturesque views and many other areas.