Abu Dhabi / WAM
The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) organised a special viewing of a documentary at Expo 2020. Called “Our Sea Our Future,” the feature-length production showcased the success story of improving fish stocks in Abu Dhabi.
The documentary was shown as part of the EAD Inspiration Series at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion in celebration of World Fisheries Day, which is observed on November 21.
The event was part of Expo 2020’s one-of-a-kind community art project, Hammour House’s talk series with “The Sailor and the Scientist”, which saw diverse segments of the community come together to discuss how to maintain and balance food security, heritage and tradition, and a holistic
future for sustainability.
At the event, which was attended by stakeholders and partners, the audience was also able to hear live the opinions and stories of actual fishermen who were part of the programme to enhance Abu Dhabi’s fisheries.
The session was moderated by Reem Al Baharna, EAD’s Section Manager of Fisheries Management, and featured fishermen Hashim Saeed Al Romaithi; Juma Mohammed Al Romaithi; Eid Juma Al Romaithi; Mohammed bin Saber AlMazrui; and Hamad bin Ghareeb AlMazrui.
EAD has been monitoring the status of Abu Dhabi’s fish stocks since 2001, and in recent years has noticed a major improvement in the number of the most commercially fished species found in the emirate’s waters.
The increase in fish stock numbers is the result of several proactive measures undertaken by EAD, such as the establishment of several marine reserves, the development of a commercial and recreational fisheries licensing system, as well as the introduction of controls on certain types of some fishing equipment.
These steps were further enhanced through seasonal fishing bans and during breeding seasons, as well as stipulating minimum sizes for the catches of several key commercial species. Furthermore, EAD banned Gargoor fishing techniques as well as the use of encircling nets.
These initiatives were part of the Sustainable Fisheries Programme which was launched in partnership with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE). The programme was devised to ensure fisheries are sustainable and was launched in 2016.
Ahmed Al Hashmi, Acting Executive Director of Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity at EAD, said, “We are pleased to share our story at Expo 2020 of how we were able to help improve fish stocks in Abu Dhabi’s waters. This success was possible after working rigorously on a series of projects, and by developing impactful policies with a positive approach – all of which were highlighted in our documentary. We have been steadfast in ensuring that we never lost sight of our end goal – the replenishment of our fish stocks, and we are grateful for the support of several fishermen who were extremely insightful and helped us achieve our objective.”