Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 13 November 2019

Refrigerators, plastic bottles and a statue fished from Dubai Creek

Dubai Creek is being choked by tonnes of rubbish thrown in by cruise ship crews, dhow operators and fishermen.
Tonnes of plastic waste are dredged from Dubai Creek every day by municipal crews. Courtesy Dubai Municipality
Tonnes of plastic waste are dredged from Dubai Creek every day by municipal crews. Courtesy Dubai Municipality

DUBAI // Refrigerators, food packaging, thousands of plastic bottles and even a Buddha statue were among the items fished from the Creek last year.

More than 100 tonnes of waste are dredged from Dubai Creek each month, new figures showed, amid warnings about the environmental effect of dumping rubbish.

Crews from Dubai Municipality dredge twice a day and last year lifted 1,619 tonnes of rubbish – the equivalent weight of about 300 adult elephants.

Cruise ship crews, dhow operators and fishermen have been singled out as among the main littering culprits and have been warned that those caught face substantial fines.

“Throwing waste into Dubai Creek is polluting the water, obstructing the movement of vessels and taking up space at the marina,” said Yaqoob Al Ali, head of hygiene at the municipality.

“The water has turned dark green because of oil leaks from boats and waste disposal.”

Two sunken dhows laden with cargo were also polluting the water but both were lifted out as part of a major operation last year.

“The two boats weighed a total of 85 tonnes,” Mr Al Ali said.

Maj Ali Al Naqbi, head of the maritime rescue department at Dubai Police, said the majority of waste came from tourist and trade ships.

“They either pass by, dumping all kinds of waste or they overload trade ships.

“There are many penalties for breaching the rules of disposing waste. People need to understand the importance of keeping the Creek clean.”

Workers at restaurants along the creek said diners were forced to watch rubbish floating past as they ate.

“You see many people on boats throwing rubbish into the Creek,” said Jude Bosco, a restaurant worker.

He said restaurants had been warned that all waste was to be properly collected, but crews appeared to ignore the warnings aimed at tackling those who “have a total disregard for laws and regulations”.

This week measures to preserve the marine environment were discussed in a summit chaired by Lt Gen Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, deputy head of Dubai Police and public security.

Carrying and loading diesel fuel in the Creek was one of the topics discussed, as was creating private family beaches in Jumeirah.

Lt Gen Tamim warned that black points and fines would be issued to those found flouting environment laws.

The maximum fine for dumping waste into the water is just Dh500. There were no announcements of new fines during the meeting of the Higher Committee for Maritime Affairs.

nalramahi@thenational.ae

Updated: February 22, 2017 04:00 AM

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