Published On: Sun, Nov 16th, 2014

MoEW Signs MoU to Increase Fish Farming Production in the UAE

 Fish Farming Production in the UAE

Fish Farming Production in the UAE

In line with initiatives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, the Ministry of Environment and Water signed a memorandum of understanding with Al Muzdahira National Company for Farm Operations and Management, to operate and manage Sheikh Khalifa Marine Research hatchery in Umm Al Qaiwain.

The hatchery was build following the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed and under the auspice of HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. The operations will include producing economically valuable local fish fingerlings and reintroducing them in lagoons and marine conservatories.

The MoU aims to implement an integrated fish cultivation program to increase fish production in the country, where the center will produce after three years, an estimate of 10 million high quality EU standard fish fingerlings of the economically valuable local fish like Hammour , Subaiti (Sparidentex hasta), Sheim (Acanthopagrus datnia) and Gabbit (Rhabdosargus sarba). These efforts come in line with the ministry’s dedication to protect and conserve the marine environment and its natural resources, in addition to reducing the pressure on the natural fisheries, in addition to contributing to the increase of fish production in the UAE which is considered one of the main pillars to enhance food security .

Ahmed Juma Al Zaabi, Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs, lauded the signing of the MoU which aims to enhance livelihood.

He also confirmed the importance of enhancing food security and supporting the marine environment with the resources that protect the marine environment and contribute to increasing its production. He added project comes in line with execution of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa’s Initiatives as His Highness pays great care to the protection, development regeneration of the environment and it resources.

Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, said that the UAE has adopted long-term strategic objectives that are focused on contributing to enhancing food and environment which aims to protecting the environment from pollution and aims to conserving and sustaining the environment for current and future generations. He added that that the UAE government had granted the environment including the coastal and marine environments great attention and sought to protect its resources, and these efforts have been in tandem with the developmental growth in the country. Bin Fahad also noted that the farming technologies and aquaculture contribute to 50% of the global production of the aquatic recourses, according the United Nations Food and Agriculture.

He also pointed out that considering the depleting aquatic resources and increase of demand on the aquatic resources, there is a focus on the development of aquaculture technologies globally. Over fishing affected immensely the fish stock due to the pressure of over exploitation of the aquatic resources and led to the deterioration of some ecosystems, which are considered one of the most important issues the country is facing. Reports have shown that a significant decrease of 25.2% have been registered in the fishing in the UAE, in addition to the decrease of demersal fish stock by 88% in the UAE waters that overlooks that Arabian Gulf Sea and decrease of 94% of fish stock in the UAE water s on the Sea of Oman in comparison with the studies made by FAO in 1978 and a survey conducted on the Arabian Gulf on the GCC level during 2008-2011. The results of the studies predict if the fisheries keep deteriorating on deteriorating on the same rate within the next two decades, most of the economically viable fish will be extinct from regional waters of the UAE. This warns against an imbalance in food security.

Bin Fahad clarified that aquaculture is one of the fastest growing industries that produce food and traded on a global level, given that, the ministry had placed the foundations for aquaculture operations and related policies to ensure sustainable aquaculture following the ministry’s strategy to enhance fish stock and food security in the UAE, noting that Sheikh Khalifa Marine Research Center will play a pivotal and leading role in the field of developing and promoting aquaculture technologies in the UAE and the region.

Bin Fahad said that the Center, which was established in corporation with Ministry of Public Works, is utilising latest advanced and innovative technologies to conduct studies and researches related to aquaculture development; and will start its operation in early 2015. The Center will start feeding the fingerlings across the UAE coastal shores. He also added that the UAE has made great strides in the field in aquaculture by setting the foundations for the operations and production of farmed fish though the establishment of necessary policies and requirements for sustainable aquaculture production.

Mariam Harib, Head of MoEW technical team overseeing the implantation phases, said that the project is considered one of the important initiatives that will utilizes latest technologies to produce fish fingerlings in addition it will serve to reach the strategic goals of enhancing food security. Harib Also clarified that the project will include the production of economically viable species that will be introduced in marine conservatories in collaboration with the competent authorities, during the first year 3.5 million fingerlings will be produces 6.5 million fingerlings in the second year and 10 million fingerlings in the third year. Harib also noted that the hatchery at the center will contribute to strengthening UAE capacity building and national cadres in the field of aquaculture.

Under the MoU, MoEW employees will be trained to operate and manage the hatchery and all the production stages including the sorting, transporting and releasing of the fingerlings and broodstock using modern technologies. In addition a research will be conducted to study and prepare an annual plan to specify the exact location and best methods to release the fingerlings.

Source : WAM News Agency for United Arab Emirates

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