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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 September 2018

New coral gardens should help fish stocks recover

Rehabilitation of marine ecosystems crucial to future of many species in the region

Artificial coral reefs are being introduced to the northern coastline to help encourage fish stocks to improve.
Artificial coral reefs are being introduced to the northern coastline to help encourage fish stocks to improve.

Coral gardens spread over 850 square metres along the coast of Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Ajman will help rehabilitate natural marine ecosystems in the area.

The first phase of three new coral reefs is being bedded in as part of a Ministry of Climate Change and Environment project to help boost fish stocks and several marine species.

It is the latest initiative to help protect coastal and marine areas in the country, and follows the ministry’s announcement it is to plant 30,000 mangrove trees and cultivate further coral gardens around the coast.

“The UAE presents a world-class model of environment protection and natural resources sustainability,” said Saleh Al Geziry, director general of the Ajman Tourism Development Department.

“Our environmental commitment was instilled in us by the late Sheikh Zayed, whose concern for the environment was highly acclaimed.”

The MOCCAE has so far succeeded in cultivating 24 species of corals and is working on the further rehabilitation of ecosystems to provide a natural habitat and an incubator for several marine species.

As part of a strategy to enhance marine biodiversity in the emirate, the Ras Al Khaimah Environmental Protection and Development Authority (EPDA-RAK) has cultivated 650 species of corals and installed 703 artificial caves.

“The initiative to cultivate coral gardens, carried out by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment as part of its initiatives in the Year of Zayed,” said Dr Saif Al Ghais, chief executive of the EPDA-RAK.

“This supports the Authority’s strategic projects and initiatives 2017 – 2020, which are aimed at preserving fish stocks and ensuring their sustainability.”

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