Sustainable fishing awareness campaign launched

UAE residents urged to 'choose wisely' when it comes to seafood
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EWS's Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak.
EWS's Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak.

Emirates Wildlife Society in association with the World Wildlife Fund (EWS-WWF) has launched ‘Choose Wisely’ — a campaign geared towards raising awareness of the status of UAE fish stocks and promoting sustainable fisheries.

Recent surveys conducted by EWS-WWF have shown that 66% of the UAE population eat fish at least once a week.

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This high demand for seafood is putting an increasing pressure on fish stocks, resulting in a decline of around 80% over the last 30 years, the organisation’s experts claimed — with UAE favourite hamour topping the overfished species list.

Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, managing director of EWS, commented: “Fish forms an essential part of our marine ecological system and a stable component in our local diet, while fishing constitutes an important part of our cultural heritage.

“It has only been over the last three decades, with the commercialising of this sector and habitat destruction, that we have started witnessing an alarming decline in our fish stock,” Al Mubarak continued.

“In sustaining this resource, we will not only protect our precious and fragile marine ecosystem, but we will also conserve part of our cultural heritage.”

The Choose Wisely campaign, developed with the support of the Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi (EAD), will offer consumers information in the form of fish ‘classifications’, whereby different types are graded according to their level of sustainability.

His Excellency Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary General of the EAD Dhabi commented: “The Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi is working hand-in-hand with UAE fishing communities to develop well-managed fisheries and create new economic incentives for a sustainable future for fish and other marine life.

“Securing healthy fish populations is essential to protect ocean ecosystems and guarantee that our children inherit a living planet abundant with fish and other marine wildlife.”

The Choose Wisely guide will be available in print from EWS-WWF offices, and can be accessed and downloaded on the website: www.choosewisely.ae.

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