x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Emirate bans fishing again for 4 months

The respite allows time for fragile fish stocks to replenish and was hailed as a success last year.

UMM AL QAIWAIN // Fishing in the emirate's waters will be banned for the next four months to prevent the depletion of stocks, authorities said.

The ban on fishing came into effect yesterday and would be lifted in July, said Abdul Karim Mohammed, the president of the UAQ Fishermen's Association.

This is the second year in which fishing has been banned for a period. "Last year, when the practice was first banned, it yielded positive results as availability of fish increased by 70 per cent from July," Mr Mohammed said.

"We put this ban in place to stop the practice of fishing young fish, and this will benefit everybody."

He said the idea of fishing-free months was formulated after a study showed most fish in the area spawned between March and July. "The study was sponsored by the UAQ government, out of concern to preserve the fishing industry," Mr Mohammed said. "We are implementing it on the orders of the government."

Last year, the government also banned jet-skiing in the UAQ Creek for one month to allow young fish a chance to grow. "That decision came from the government and was announced by the police," Mr Mohammed said. "It's up to them to do it again this year."

Police would not confirm whether a ban would be put in place this year.

The decision to ban fishing in the area was strictly observed by fishermen last year, a police spokesman said. "The punishment set for offenders was the seizure of nets, but police did not need to do so once."

Saeed Ali, a fisherman in the emirate, said he supported the ban because it was for the mutual benefit of the public and fishermen. "In fishing, this is our low season [anyway]," he said.