The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MOCCAE, has launched an awareness campaign for implementing the Ministerial Decision No. 501 of 2015, regulating the fishing and trading of Arabian Sheri (emperor fish) and Safi (rabbitfish) during the breeding period from 1st March to 30th April, 2018.
The decision stipulates that trading of local or imported Sheri and Safi fish is prohibited in fish markets and outlets during the breeding season of every year in the country. Importing and exporting of these fish in any form (fresh, frozen, salted, smoked, packed) is also not allowed during this period. Fishermen should send Sheri and Safi fish back into the water if they are caught by mistake.
Salah Abdullah Al Rayssi, Director of the Fisheries Sustainability Department at MOCCAE, stressed that this decision will have a positive impact on increasing the stock of fish, especially Sheri and Safi, and help promote a sustainable marine environment and fish conservation, production and trade in the country, which is a key element of achieving Vision 2021.
Al Rayssi said that Sheri and Safi are among the most important local fish, which are hugely draining due to uncontrolled fishing during the breeding season. This, in turn, denies the opportunity to rebuild its natural stocks. He emphasised the importance of collaboration and co-ordination between MOCCAE and the local authorities, praising their continuous efforts to protect the environment and develop the country’s fish resources.
He confirmed 98 percent compliance of fishermen with the Ministerial Decision No. 501 of 2015 on the regulation of fishing and trading of Arabian Sheri and Safi during the breeding season in 2017, indicating increased awareness and continued commitment among fishermen to the federal legislation for the protection and development of fisheries and promotion of sustainability.
MOCCAE will issue penalties if the markets and companies fail to comply with the decision as applicable under the Ministerial Decision No. 18 of 2012 regarding violators of regulatory decisions on marine life.
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