Overfishing is a thing and here’s how it hurts the population

The UAE’s fish resources are overexploited because of severe fishing and are in major need of rehabilitation to recover. 

This was the conclusion of the Fisheries Assessment Survey conducted by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD). 

The two-year study, regarded as the most comprehensive fisheries survey ever conducted in the Arabian Gulf waters of the UAE, has gathered information about more than 200 species of fish, sharks and rays.

Researchers discovered that species such as hamour, shaari and farsh are being fished from three to five times over the sustainable limit, causing a severe drop in their population. 

What’s more, 85 percent of the country’s fish stocks are overexploited when compared to sustainability standards. 

Commenting on the results, Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, acting secretary-general of EAD, said: “Fisheries form an important component of the cultural heritage of coastal communities, are a source of employment and recreation, and contribute to food security. 

“The results of our surveys are very concerning; they confirm that we all need to be part of the recovery plan for the long-term survival of fisheries. 

“It’s clear that it is time for the sea to recover and we have proposed several urgent and stricter measures, which we will be working with our partners and the wider community on, to re-establish a sustainable fishery and ensure that the decline of our fish stocks does not continue.”

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