Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi – Biodiversity Management Sector – Marine

Investigation of Marine Invasive Species – with special reference to Ballast Water
The invasion of alien species is one of the most serious and growing threats to the marine environment,. It may harm the marine ecology, economy and health. This project was initiated to identify the major transport vectors for marine invasive species into the Emirate and to study the effect of marine invasions in coastal ecosystem. The project also aims to determine and develop measures to mitigate the problem of marine invasive species in the marine environment and to identify and quantify species introduced into the Emirate via ballast water. Developing an inventory of non-native species in coastal waters is another objective of the project.
Field Investigation on Fish Reproductive Habitats:
Seasonal Variation in Species Composition, Abundance, Biomass and Production of Fish Eggs and Larvae in Abu Dhabi Waters.
This project aims to determine the spawning and nursery grounds of commercially important fishes of Abu Dhabi in order to protect the habitat for fish spawning and to quantify the spatial and temporal variation of fish eggs and larvae distribution in Abu Dhabi waters to assess the stock of exploitable populations. Another objective of this project is to find out the factors affecting recruitment and survival of fish eggs and larvae including predator and prey and to develop appropriate methodologies for improving the sustainable management of fish stocks in Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Fisheries Management and Licensing
Under the current regulatory regime, licenses and permits are issued for commercial fishing, recreational fishing, traditional fishing, fishing gears, Apprentice and sports diving institutions, fishing right in seas Al Buhoor and other activities including various aspects of water sports and fishing competition, as stipulated in Federal Law No. 23 and relevant by-laws. This project was initiated to implement the licensing and permitting arrangement and to developing new licensing and permitting arrangements. It also aims to develop and implement a license database.
Fish Landings and Population Dynamics
This project aims to monitor fisheries and assess the status of associated resources. It aims to provide scientific and technical information for resource management purposes and to conduct stock assessments and monitor the status of key commercially exploited species. Another objective of the project is to provide statistics on landings, effort, species composition and wholesale value of catches.
Mapping and Characterization of Coastal Wetlands
This project aims to classify and characterize coastal wetlands, map coastal wetlands including mangroves, salt marshes and seagrass meadows, provide information for contribution towards the coastal Atlas and to develop conservation and management plan for the coastal wetlands of the Emirate.
Management of Marine Protected Areas
This project was initiated after declaration of Marawah Marine Protected Area in 2001 and development of its detailed management plan in 2004. Additional marine protected areas were later established. Al Yasat MPA was declared by Emiri Decree No. (33) in 2005, followed by the announcement of Bul Syayeef MPA in 2007. In September 2007, the Marawah Marine Protected Area was formally added to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. This project aims to continue implementation of the management plan of Marawah BR and to develop and implement management plans for Al Yasat and Bul Syayeef MPAs. In addition, survey and proposal of potential sites for protection were also considered and reflected.
Marine Environment Monitoring
This project aims to measure the ambient water quality condition with the goal of detecting the effects of anthropogenic activities leading to contamination and /or habitat degradation. It aims to characterize spatial and temporal patterns of basic water quality parameters and identify significant changes in these parameters that may indicate environmental changes and emerging problems. Assessing all point and non point sources of pollution and their impact on living and nonliving marine resources and human health and evaluating the impact of anthropogenic activities on marine water quality are other objectives of this project.
Management of Marine Protected Areas of Abu Dhabi Emirate
This project was initiated after declaration of Marawah Marine Protected Area in 2001 and development of its detailed management plan in 2004. Additional Marine protected areas were later established. Al Yasat MPA was declared by Emiri Decree No. (33) in 2005, followed by the announcement of Bul Syayeef MPA in 2007.
During September of 2007, the Marawah Marine Protected Area was formally added to the World Network of Biosphere Reserve, the project aims to continue implementation of the management plan of Marawah BR and to develop and implement management plans for Al Yasat and Bul Syayeef MPAs. In addition, survey and proposal of potential sites for protection were also considered and reflected.
Conservation of Critical Marine Habitats and Implementation of Conservation Plan for Sea Turtles
Since 1999, the Agency has been undertaking long term research programmes to evaluate the status of nesting and foraging species of sea turtles in the UAE in order to implement conservation action plan for the protection of species and habitats. Conservation of critical marine habitats project was initiated to improve understanding of biology and ecology of sea turtles and monitor and conserve of foraging habitats.

This piece is taken from the website of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.

See on-line at: http://www.ead.ae/en/en-us/biodiversity.management.sector.marine.aspx

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