More than 200 kilograms of plastic waste and cast-off fishing equipment were found during a clean-up campaign at a popular coastal spot in Abu Dhabi.
Fishing gear, nets and plastic materials were removed from Al Bahrani Island and its surrounding waters by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi.
Fifteen workers spent a day cleaning the eight-square-kilometre area.
While the agency said there were no hazardous chemicals or waste found at the site, it mentioned the dangers of plastic waste harming marine life.
"Plastics are non-degradable materials that cause long-term impacts to marine wildlife and the environment," the agency said.
“Furthermore, dumping of solid waste and general waste will affect human and wildlife health and safety.”
The cleaning campaign will continue throughout the year and will monitor onshore and offshore fishing grounds in the capital.
The sea-inspection campaigns are part of the agency's efforts to "preserve and protect the marine and coastal environment".
"We urge all fishermen to ensure that their enclosures and the surrounding coastal areas are cleaned of waste at the end of fishing seasons," the agency said. "And that any waste, gears or materials, are disposed of using proper methods in order to preserve public health and our marine environment.
“If any irregularities are detected, legal action will be taken.”
The National recently published a story about a baby camel mistaking a blue plastic bag, dumped in the desert, for food.
While the young camel realised its mistake soon enough, similar mistakes by other animals are often fatal.
Recently, the bones of a camel surrounded by plastic were captured on camera by a member of an off-road driving club.