The Dubai Municipality has begun implementing the plans and work programmes of the Ministerial Decree No. 501 of 2015 on the regulation of fishing and marketing of Arab fish, Sheri and Safi, in the breeding season from 1st March to 30th April of each year, as part of its keenness to implement the federal laws and regulations governing the exploitation of living marine resources and prevent their depletion.
Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, said that the municipality has already started to intensify the supervision and inspection of markets and outlets selling fish in Dubai to ensure their compliance with the terms of the Ministerial Decree No. 501, which prevents fishing Sheri and Safi in the waters of the country.
"The fishermen, who catch these types of fish, should immediately release them in the sea with adequate attention to safety. The decree also prohibits selling Sheri and Safi during this period in all fish shops and markets in the country, whether domestic or imported. It also prohibits the import and re-export of these fish whether fresh, frozen, dried, salted, smoked or canned or in any other way during the period stipulated in the decree," he said.
Lootah said that the Dubai Municipality, through all its working teams from the concerned departments, has prepared a plan to control and inspect the markets and outlets selling these fish and their locations of landing in Dubai in order to tighten the implementation of the decree.
Alya Al Harmoudi, Director of Environment Department at Dubai Municipality, explained that the inspectors and the officers of the department carry out their inspection campaigns at the fish markets in Deira and at the Fishermen’s Port in Umm Suqeim.
"Shops selling fresh fish in shopping centres are also inspected. During inspections we try to ascertain the extent of the compliance by the fishermen and sellers to all rules and regulations regarding the protection and development of fish wealth, including the Ministerial Decree No. 501 in particular," Al Harmoudi said.
Aisha Al Murr Al Muhairi, Head of the Natural Resources Protection Section, added that the inspection times will be during the embargo period in March and April to coincide with the timings of landing in ports and fish markets during the morning and evening. "They will also be inspected over the weekend when the display of fish is more compared to the rest of the days of the week.
"As for the violators of the ban, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has decided the penalties for the offenders in accordance with the Cabinet Decision No. 18 of 2012. A monthly report will be submitted on the percentage of compliance of the establishments to the ministry as it is the national focal point in this decision. Last year, the commitment of fishermen and vendors reached 100 percent in fish markets, shopping malls and fish landing sites in Dubai," Al Muhairi said.