Saeed Ahmed (Umm Al Quwain)
The “Spinning Shire” initiative, launched by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, in cooperation with the Dubai Voluntary Diving Team, has removed more than 7.9 tons of fishing waste in 48 sites in various marine areas in the country.
Engineer Abdullah Mohsin Al Balushi, head of the Dubai Voluntary Diving Team, said that the initiative was launched in 2017, with the participation of nearly 57 divers and submarines of different nationalities, pointing out that this is an ongoing national initiative that seeks to educate fishermen and provide a hotline to report stuck and lost fishing nets. In the middle of the sea and other fishing wastes, in order to preserve and protect the marine environment.
He pointed out that, in coordination with the Ministry and the competent authorities in each emirate, the diving team removes the damaged fishing waste that is reported to be present at the marine sites, cleans the seabed, and liberates living organisms, indicating that the team encountered some difficulties during the waste removal process, with the presence of nets. Dense “alyakh” stuck in a long distance on the sea floor with a depth of 30 meters, in addition to the presence of poisonous organisms and stuck predatory sharks, which are dealt with with caution.
He added that missing fishing equipment was found, which was returned to its fishermen.
He said: The team reached the farthest distance of 80 kilometers from the coast of Abu Dhabi to participate in cleaning one of the marine sites, pointing out that the volunteer work hours for all divers amounted to approximately 23 thousand and 781 hours volunteering for the initiative, with 97 dives on the sea floor, from its launch until End of 2020.
He added that some of the sites that were cleaned belonged to places where ships and ships were sunk off the coast of the country, in addition to the fisheries of “mashad”, a rocky bottom, ports for fishermen and some marine places, in coordination with the competent authorities, and the waste was removed in a professional manner without affecting the coral reefs, calling on fishermen to cooperate with Initiate and report the sites of lost fishing gear, and not leave it harmful to the marine environment.
The head of the Dubai Voluntary Diving Team pointed out to 6 women of different nationalities, one of whom is a citizen, whose participation was distinguished and courageous from them to take responsibility and contribute to the removal of waste, despite the danger of some sites and the different natural conditions in the summer and winter period, pointing out that the initiative was well received by volunteer divers From the Abu Dhabi Divers Team, the Seven Emirates Team, the Zaab Volunteer Diving Team, and the Al Jazeera Swimming and Diving Center.
Engineer Abdullah Al Balushi said: The name of the initiative came from local words: “Shira” means “char leek,” meaning suspended at the bottom of the sea, and “spinning” means the method of making fishing nets, and it is one of the old crafts, pointing out that all measures have been taken. Safety and security To keep divers safe while removing stuck nets, and no injuries or accidents have been recorded.