‘Jaywun’- Marine research vessel
‘Jaywun’ is a 50-metre marine research vessel that monitors the marine environment of the UAE.
It aims to:
- assess the effects of the climate change
- monitor the marine biodiversity
- provide a reliable scientific platform that meets the needs of marine research in the UAE.
The vessel is equipped with the latest research equipment, which includes 6 laboratories for studying samples on the ship and a remotely-operated submarine vehicle.
It will conduct comprehensive marine and fisheries surveys, including basic deep water marine environmental surveys, fisheries resource assessment surveys, coral reef and seagrass habitat surveys, studies of marine water quality, and sediment and biological surveys.
It will play an important role in developing strategies and management plans to ensure the recovery and sustainability of fish stocks in the UAE.
The vessel is part the ‘Ocean World Discovery project’ of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD).
Read more about ‘Jaywun’.
Sustainability as a national priority
Providing sustainable environment and infrastructure is one of the six pillars of the UAE National Agenda. Read about the UAE's contributions in the field of environment in the UAE.
The UAE has maintained its global leadership in the marine protected areas with 16 marine protected areas. The total protected area cover in the country has increased from 15.07 per cent of the territory in 2019 to 15.53 per cent in 2020, accounting for 18.4 per cent of its terrestrial territory and 12.01 percent of its marine territory.
The UAE joined the UK-initiated Global Ocean Alliance, a group of 32 countries working to protect the ocean and improve the livelihoods of coastal communities. The Alliance calls for safeguarding at least 30 per cent of the world’s oceans by 2030 through marine protected areas. The UAE is the first Middle Eastern country to endorse the target.
Marwah Reserve was erected on an area of 4255 sq m in Abu Dhabi and declared on 2007, while al Yasat Reserve was declared on 2005.
Other reserves are Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary and Jebel Ali Wildlife Sanctuary.
Sea dumping and pollution
Dumping waste in the sea raises environmental concerns which is life-threatening on the marine ecosystem in the region. The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, in collaboration with its partners in the public and private sectors, continues to work towards greater protection of the marine and coastal environment and the preservation of its vital role through implementing the principles of the integrated management of the marine and coastal environment.
The UAE has enacted laws banning throwing waste and oil sludge into the water by the hundreds of tankers operating in the region.
The UAE Federal Law No. 24 of 1999 on the Protection and Development of the Environment prohibits the following:
- Any intentional disposal of pollutants or wastes from ships, aircraft or any other means into the marine environment
- Any deliberate dumping from ships or industrial installations or other means into the marine environment.
In addition, Federal Law No. 23 of 1999 and its Ministerial Decree No. 302 of 2001, were issued to address exploitation, conservation and development of living aquatic resources in the UAE.
Government's efforts to preserve fisheries
Fishing is a key component of the UAE's heritage, but overfishing has caused a decline of key fish stocks beyond sustainable levels.
At least 13 species of fish have been harvested beyond sustainable levels and key species of fish like hamour (orange-spotted grouper), shaari (spangled emperor), farsh (painted sweetlips) and kanaad (Spanish mackerel) have been overexploited up to five times the sustainable limit.
In 1999, Federal Law No.23 concerning the Exploitation, Protection and Development of the Living Aquatic Resources in the Waters of UAE (PDF, 500 KB) was issued. It was amended by Federal Law No.7 of 2016 (PDF, 500 KB) to keep pace with contemporary challenges that the marine life faced. Several other ministerial resolutions were also issued to control fishing practices and the depletion of fish stock. Read about the UAE’s efforts to regulate fishing practices and restore fish stocks.
Ministry of Climate Change and Environment launched the ‘UAE’s Sustainable Fisheries Programme’ in partnership with Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi to ensure sustainable fishing. The programme was implemented from 2016 to 2018 and achieved several results including the completion of a Fisheries Resources Assessment Survey, which assessed the status of key demersal fish stocks in the UAE’s waters, and the launch of UAE’s National Framework Statement for Sustainable Fisheries 2019-2030 (PDF, 688 KB).
To protect the biodiversity of the marine environment in the UAE, the ‘National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks 2018 - 2021’ (PDF, 3.29 MB) and the ‘National Plan of Action for the Conservation of Marine Turtles 2019 - 2021 (PDF, 16.5 MB) were launched.
Updated on 29 Feb 2024