The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) organised the first Forum for Fishing and Fishermen Affairs as part of its strategy to support the fishing industry, protect the marine environment, and ensure the sustainability of its biodiversity.
Representatives of the Ministry of Defence and fishermen’s societies participated in the forum.
In her opening remarks, Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, said,
“The fishing sector is an integral part of the UAE’s heritage and history. The ministry is committed to supporting the sector through an integrated system of a flexible legislative framework, initiatives, and financial support. We are also keen to raise the awareness of related national directives and objectives in the fishing community through targeted campaigns to improve the sustainability of the marine environment and promote the fishing profession as a contributor to enhancing food security.”
She commended the efforts of the Ministry of Defence in developing the sector through a fishermen’s support programme that exempts them from the maintenance fees for fishing boat tracking devices.
During the forum, MOCCAE showcased its efforts to support the sector during 2022. These include amending the executive regulations of Federal Law No. 23 of 1999 on the exploitation, protection, and development of living aquatic resources, coordinating with stakeholders to exempt fishermen from maintenance fees for fishing boat tracking devices, regulating the waiver of a fishing boat licence, and issuing legislation that regulates the delegation of a boat master to a fisherman who has completed 50 years and exempting them from fees in this regard. In addition, the ministry has launched a project to maintain fishing ports and is currently developing a regulation on fish export to boost fishermen’s income.
The forum also included an introductory presentation on the decision to exempt fishermen from maintenance fees for tracking devices to encourage the fishing profession and support people with limited incomes.
The decision on the exemption of the fees classifies the beneficiaries into two categories. The first category is 100 percent exempted and includes fishermen who own fishing gear and practice fishing as a profession, provided their monthly income does not exceed AED25,000 even after benefiting from any of the government’s housing or social care programmes. This category also includes senior citizens over 60 years and any other cases determined by the CICPA.
The second category, which involves 50 percent exemption, includes fishermen who own fishing gear and practice it as a profession but do not meet the other criteria stipulated in the first category.
News Source: Emirates News Agency