The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has issued a decision, regulating the fishing and trade of certain species of fish during their breeding season.
The decision prohibits the fishing of goldlined seabream (Rhabdosargus sarba) and king soldier bream (Argyrops spinifer) across the UAE from February 1 to 28. It also bans the sale of these species, regardless of their origin in all fish markets and retail outlets over the same period.
As per the decision, fishermen must release any goldlined seabream and king soldier bream fish caught accidentally in their fishing gear during the restricted period back into the water.
Moreover, the decree ends the ban on fishing and trade of Arabian safi (rabbitfish) and sheri (emperor) during their breeding season. The decision was implemented for the past five years to alleviate the pressure on safi and sheri due to high consumer demand for these species.
Halima Al Jasmi, Head of the Fisheries Section at MOCCAE, said: “The decision is part of the ministry’s efforts to regulate commercial fishing to ensure the sustainability of fish stocks in UAE waters … The aim is to enhance the country’s food security. During the ban period, these species will be able to replenish their stocks to a sustainable level.”
Al Jasmi thanked the fishermen for their compliance with the resolution regulating the fishing and trade of Arabian safi and sheri that “considerably contributed to increasing the species’ stocks”. She urged them to show equal commitment to the new resolution to protect the stocks of goldlined seabream and king soldier bream from depletion.