Abu Dhabi bans surface fishing nets to preserve marine life
Effective from December, the order bans barber fishing
Surface fishing has been banned in Abu Dhabi in an effort to preserve fish stocks.
Barber fishing involves suspending a net on the surface of the water and has caused the death of dozens of dugongs who become entangled in the nets.
The announcement from the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency on Wednesday follows a resolution issued by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, last year, to protect marine life by regulating surface fishing using vertical nets to encircle schools of fish.
The objective of the ban is to halt the decline in fish stocks in the country and save endangered species such as dugongs and turtles.
Illegal fishing practices have killed more than 80 dugongs in Abu Dhabi in the past four years.
Due to illegal fishing, the dugongs have been found drowned in nets used by both commercial fishermen and recreational boats and yachts.
The emirate is home to the world's second largest group of dugongs after Australia and the threatened species must be preserved, the EAD said.
Inspectors of the have previously conducted surprise checks and fined fishermen for using nets that ensnare the dugongs.
Affectionately known as sea cows, the species feed on sea-grass and cannot breathe underwater so they return to the surface for air every few minutes.
The agency said that improving and protecting the species was the responsibility of all residents and crucial to the country’s ecosystem.
Updated: December 26, 2018 08:59 PM