Abu Dhabi bans surface fishing nets to preserve marine life

Effective from December, the order bans barber fishing

Some 80 dugongs have been killed due to illegal fishing practices in Abu Dhabi over the past four years. Courtesy EAD    
Powered by automated translation

Surface fishing has been banned in Abu Dhabi in an effort to preserve fish stocks.

Barber fishing involves suspending a net on the surface of the water and has caused the death of dozens of dugongs who become entangled in the nets.

The announcement from the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency on Wednesday follows a resolution issued by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, last year, to protect marine life by regulating surface fishing using vertical nets to encircle schools of fish.

The objective of the ban is to halt the decline in fish stocks in the country and save endangered species such as dugongs and turtles.

Illegal fishing practices have killed more than 80 dugongs in Abu Dhabi in the past four years.

Due to illegal fishing, the dugongs have been found drowned in nets used by both commercial fishermen and recreational boats and yachts.

The emirate is home to the world's second largest group of dugongs after Australia and the threatened species must be preserved, the EAD said.

Inspectors of the have previously conducted surprise checks and fined fishermen for using nets that ensnare the dugongs.

Affectionately known as sea cows, the species feed on sea-grass and cannot breathe underwater so they return to the surface for air every few minutes.

The agency said that improving and protecting the species was the responsibility of all residents and crucial to the country’s ecosystem.


Read more:

Six dugongs found dead in Abu Dhabi as rogue fishing put species at risk

Abu Dhabi to study climate change threat facing sea creatures