Saif Mohammed Al Shara, Assistant Under-Secretary for the External Audit Sector at the Ministry of Environment and Water has met with the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority to discuss Ministerial Resolution No. (501) for 2015, which prohibits the catching and selling of emperor fish and rabbit-fish during their breeding season from March 1 to April 30 of every year.
Aiming to establish a mechanism for ensuring the resolution’s effective implementation, the meeting focused on plans to integrate the resolution’s provisions into the regulatory procedures adopted by the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority as well as its participation in awareness campaigns for fish suppliers to be held in the middle of February 2016.
The gathering was also meant to highlight the importance of strict monitoring of imported fish shipments to ensure that cargoes containing emperor fish and rabbitfish will not enter Abu Dhabi markets, with sanctions to be implemented on violators.
Al Shara emphasised the importance of collaboration and coordination among local authorities, praising their continuous efforts to protect the environment and develop the country’s fish resources.
The resolution is expected to positively impact initiatives aimed at increasing emperor fish and rabbit-fish stocks in the medium term as well as promote sustainability for all kinds of fish species.
He reiterated that fishermen must release emperor fish and rabbit-fish if they are accidentally caught during their breeding session.
Sheri & Safi
"The ministry has issued the resolution to promote food safety and sustainability of local production as well as save the marine environment in line with its strategic goal of protecting the country’s water resources, a fundamental element of UAE Vision 2021.
“The Ministerial Resolution specifically aims to protect rabbit-fish (sheri) and emperor fish (safi), two important local species endangered by fishing during the breeding period which leads to premature loss of eggs and consequently lowers reproduction rates. It also aims to support the fishing profession and promote food security," he said.
The Assistant Under-Secretary added, "We will conduct regular visits to all fish outlets and exporting companies to check their compliance with the provisions.
“The Ministry’s employees and local authorities will also inspect all fish shipments for re-export and accordingly issue health licenses required for re-exporting processes. We will implement the applicable administrative sanctions in accordance with UAE Cabinet Decision No. (18) for 2012 on implementing penalties for violators of regulatory resolutions on living water and fish resources. The penalty will depend on the frequency and seriousness of the violations.”
For first-time violators, a written warning will be issued along with the confiscation of their catch. Repeat offenders will be fined Dh1,000 along with the confiscation of their catch, while third-time offenders will face a one-week suspension of their boat license.
Fish store owners who violate the existing provisions for the first time will receive a written warning along with the confiscation of products; a Dh1,000 fine with confiscation for the second offense; and one-week closure of their stores to be implemented in coordination with local authorities for the third offense.
As for the operators of vehicles used to transport fish, first-time violators will receive a written warning along with the confiscation of the products; a Dh1,000 fine with confiscation for second offenders; and a Dh3,000 fine with confiscation to be implemented in coordination with local authorities for third offenders.
The ministry says it has been arranging a series of meetings with concerned authorities to ensure the application of the provisions in all fish markets and outlets, including shopping malls. fish shops, checkpoints in fisherman ports, and fish landing sites.
Heads of fishermen associations and representatives from local departments concerned with inspection and control fish markets in the East coast of the State were some of the attendees, in addition to delegates from the Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority, Dubai Municipality, Municipality and Planning Department in Ajman, and the Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah.
The ministry stated that it will continue to meet with local authorities across the country in February to ensure full implementation of the resolution.
Tags: #UAE #RAK #AbuDhabi #Fishing #Sheri #Safi