The Ministry of Environment and Water recently conducted a workshop for the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) covering the key guidelines and procedures in inspecting fishery facilities in the UAE.
During the workshop, His Excellency Engineer Saif Mohammed Al-Shara, Assistant Undersecretary for External Audit sector, Ministry of Environment and Water, stressed on the importance of abiding and complying with the set standards and regulations on environmental protection.
The event was held in line with the efforts to reinforce national capacities at the local level related to the procedures and requirements for inspection and checking of fishery facilities,to protect marine life, maintain and develop living aquatic resources and strengthen the country’s food security initiatives.
H.E. Al-Shara added that the workshop is part of the Ministry’s objectives to train personnel working across concerned local authorities who regularly perform field inspections that are closely related to the application of federal legislation and regulations of the ministry—which includes legislation covering the conservation and sustainability of fisheries and the marine environment.
The Ministry of Environment and Water has affirmed its commitment in developing policies and legislation and ensure application in coordination and cooperation with all partners in the country as the preservation of the environment is a national duty and one of the top priorities of UAE Vision 2021.
The workshop also threw the spotlight on the functions of the fish inspection department and also discussed new laws, regulations and decisions related to the protection and practices of fisheries. The meeting also reviewed samples of inspection forms used and the most frequent irregularities that have been monitored.
H.E. Al-Shara emphasized on the importance of exerting further efforts in this field. He also praised the local authorities concerned with the protection and development of living aquatic resources to ensure sustainability for current and future generations. The Ministry is keen on cooperation and coordination with all government authorities as strategic partners in achieving environmental sustainability and keeping pace with the government’s drive towards ensuring a sustainable environment and integrated infrastructure within the framework of the UAE’s national agenda.
The workshops covered two parts–the first part covering the theoretical side related to increasing awareness in legislation and procedures of protecting fisheries while the second part covered the practical side via the implementation of joint field campaigns, contributing to training of human resources working in the local authorities and developing their capabilities on inspections procedures to ensure compliance with federal legislation and regulations.
The Ministry of Environment and Water always evaluates the efficiency of the application of federal legislation related to aquatic resources, including the legislation issued by the UAE Cabinet and the legislation issued as ministerial decisions to protect living aquatic resources from exploitation.
Of these laws, the most prominent are Federal Law No. (23) of the year 1999, which covers the exploitation, protection and development of the living aquatic resources in the United Arab Emirates and Cabinet Decision No. (18) of the year 2012, on the application of administrative sanctions on violators of regulations of living aquatic resources and fisheries. Other ministerial decisions includes the determination of permitted fishing gear and fishing seasons and areas where fishing is banned such as nature reserves, which are considered as fish breeder areas and contributes to the development of fish stocks.