Abu Dhabi lifts ban on catch and sale of Badah fish

Restrictions will return on June 1 to allow fish to reproduce

Two men fish in Dibba Al Fujairah’s port.

The UAE is calling on more volunteer divers to help restore and replant coral reefs in the open waters of Fujairah.

Over the next five days, teams of volunteers will take fresh coral from Dibba Fujairah Port and replant it further out at sea, about 1km from Dibba Rock, a popular diving spot in the emirate.  

The campaign is part of an initiative by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Fujairah Adventure Centre to help sustain and grow marine life in UAE waters.
(Photo: Reem Mohammed/The National)

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Abu Dhabi fishermen will no longer be banned from catching and selling the popular Longtail Silver Biddy fish.

Known locally as 'Badah', the fish is silver, grows up to 35cm in length and can be found in sandy areas near reefs.

As of April 1, the ministry of climate change and environment, alongside the environment agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), is lifting the restrictions temporarily in the emirate, but they will come back into force on June 1.

The ban had been in place since the start of the year to allow the fish to reproduce, while the latest decision aims to ensure the sustainability of food supply chains on domestic markets.

Abu Dhabi officials have lifted the ban on catching and selling of the ‘Longtail Silver Biddy’ fish, known locally as ‘Badah’, until June 1st. Supplied.
Abu Dhabi officials have lifted the ban on catching and selling of the ‘Longtail Silver Biddy’ fish, known locally as ‘Badah’, until June 1st. Supplied.

Badah was previously banned from commercial fishing and sale until the start of April and is periodically placed on the list of fish that cannot be caught or sold in order to avoid depleting numbers.

The Badah is considered an important commercial fish and the EAD has implemented various measures to improve the sustainability of the species.

There is high demand for fish in the UAE, but the number of fish in local waters is in decline as a result of pollution and habitat loss.

Almost the whole of the Arabian Gulf – along with the waters in the Gulf of Oman off the UAE's east coast – is classified as being in the top 10 per cent of most at-risk areas in the world as a result of overfishing.

This can cause many numbers of fish to dwindle towards extinction.

In 2015, the EAD, along with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, launched the UAE Sustainable Fishing programme that aims to reach sustainable fishing levels by 2030.

Other measures to conserve marine life in Abu Dhabi waters include a proposal to restrict spearfishing.

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