Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, today chaired the second meeting of 2023 with the UAE Fishermen’s Cooperative Union and the heads of fishermen's associations in the country.
The aim of the meeting was to discuss the most important issues related to the development and sustainability of the fisheries wealth in the country, as well as ways to support fishermen and their contributions towards enhancing national food security.
The meeting, held at the premises of the Environmental Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah, was attended by Mohammed Saeed Al Nuaimi; Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment; Dr. Mohammed Salman Al Hammadi; Assistant Undersecretary for the Biodiversity and Marine Life Sector at the Ministry; Sulaiman Al Khadem; President of the UAE Fishermen's Cooperative Union and President of the Dibba Al Fujairah Fishermen's Association; as well as the Presidents of the Fishermen's Cooperative Associations across the country and a group of officials and fishermen.
In her speech, Almheiri affirmed that the wise leadership of the UAE attaches utmost importance to the care of fishermen and the provision of all means of support for them to maintain the prosperity of this activity, which represents one of the economic, cultural, and social tributaries of the country.
She pointed out that the fisheries wealth is one of the pillars of national food security, and it is necessary to work on its development in order to sustain food in the country and preserve and develop this wealth for the current and future generations.
She praised the role of the Union and Fishermen's Associations in implementing various rules and regulations that ensure the development of the UAE's fish wealth.
"As we celebrate the Year of Sustainability, and as we approach hosting COP28 this year, we look forward to building a sustainable model for developing fish wealth and marine life in the country and minimising environmental and climate impacts. As well as promoting fishing activities in accordance with the laws and guidelines in force in the UAE. This, of course, will happen through full cooperation and working as one team."
Dr. Mohammed Salman Al Hammadi affirmed that supporting fishermen is a priority for the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to enhance the fish wealth sector, sustain the historical fishing profession, and remove any obstacles facing fishermen.
He pointed out that the ministry is intensifying work with various concerned entities, foremost among which is the Union and Associations of Fishermen in the UAE, to solve all the problems of fishermen and facilitate their fishing activities along the various coasts of the country in accordance with the applied regulations and laws.
"Through continuous dialogue and opening direct communication channels with fishermen in all emirates of the country, we aim to enhance the sector. During this meeting, many topics were touched upon, through which we were keen to listen to the fishermen’s opinions on many decisions and solutions that we seek to develop fish wealth, maximise its benefits, ensure its sustainability, and contribute to supporting national food security."
The meeting evaluated the current needs of the fishing community in the country, deliberated on the obstacles they encounter in their fishing activities, and strived to identify effective solutions. Moreover, it focused on the broad-based development of the marine fishing sector to secure the sustainability of the marine environment and bolster national food security.
The meeting also underscored the importance of the fishing profession, deeply rooted in the unique historical heritage of Emirati society.
During the meeting, updates were shared on the Fish Stock Survey Program in the country, decisions related to fishing (Daghwa), and the "Haddaq" application project.
The fishermen's associations' proposals were also reviewed, which included a proposal to ban the use of plastic bags and replace them with boxes or baskets to contribute to reducing marine pollution, preserving the environment, and reducing plastic waste.
The meeting also included a review of the findings from the Ministry's survey of fishermen, to which 722 fishermen responded. The conditions specified for the profession of Deputy Captain were also discussed, as were ways to regulate the fishing of pleasure boats and ways to enhance communication with fishermen in the country through holding awareness workshops and forums for them regularly.
The first meeting of the UAE Fishermen’s Cooperative Union and fishermen's associations for this year was held in the Fujairah Chamber of Commerce and Industry last March, and the third meeting will be held next November.
News Source: Emirates News Agency