WAM ABU DHABI, July 14th, 2013: The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi’s (EAD) Fisheries Socio-Economic Survey for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which studies the social and economic impacts on current and future regulation of the fisheries sector, has kicked off with its data collection phase.
The Fisheries Socio-Economic Survey for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi has also begun with a stakeholder workshop, which served as an introductory session for key government and non-government entities.
EAD provided a complete project description to all participants, detailing the data collection process that will take place over the coming four months.
The survey will also provide decision makers, regulators and members of the fisheries industry, including fishermen, fishery dependent retail and hospitality outlets and fishermen co-operative societies with socio-economic information for better management and planning across the sector. The information collated and analysed during this project will allow EAD and its stakeholders to assess the impact on the sector, as well as the level of regulation required to successfully sustain resources in the fishing industry.
Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Executive Director, Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD, in a press release, said: “We consider the Fisheries Socio-Economic Survey for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi an invaluable addition to the government’s regulatory and conservation efforts in Abu Dhabi’s fisheries sector. The results of EAD’s fish stock assessment over the last decade indicated that Abu Dhabi’s fishery sector is over-capitalized, with 71% of the resource base categorised as over-exploited. Having more information will not only enable us to fulfill our commitment towards the protection of the Emirate’s fish stocks, but it will also aid our stakeholders in making more informed decisions on a number of issues ranging from legislation to consumption.” She added: “Since the support and cooperation of our stakeholders is a crucial element of our success, we’ve engaged them since the initial stages of the survey. With their continued collaboration, we will be able to provide data that will play an essential role in optimising the use of our depleted fish stocks and rebuilding them in the long run.” EAD stakeholders and key entities in the fisheries sector attended the workshop allowing them to share their expertise and reach agreement on the best methodology for cooperation during the data collection phase. Attendees at the workshop included; the Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA); the Critical Infrastructure ‘&’ Coastal Protection Authority (CICPA); the Statistics Center Abu Dhabi (SCAD); the Abu Dhabi Customs Administration (ADCA); the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC); the Abu Dhabi Fishermen’s Cooperative Society; the Delma Fishermen’s Cooperative Society; and the Emirates Wildlife Society in association with the World Wide Fund for Nature (EWS-WWF).
Following the workshop, the EAD project team was able to gain a better understanding of the data held by the different organisations and identify additional information critical to the programme’s objective. Besides facilitating stakeholder communication, the workshop laid the foundation for an open line of communication between the different stakeholders that EAD will be engaging with throughout the lifespan of the project.
Once the data collection phase is completed, the information will be analysed and formed into a comprehensive report that will help to balance consumption and socio-economic factors through targeted regulation and increased awareness. The project is expected to be completed in 2014.
Since 2010, EAD has been in partnership with EWS-WWF on the �Choose Wisely’ campaign as part of its broader awareness efforts on fisheries. The partnership continues to raise awareness among consumers about depleting fish stocks and encourage them to make better purchasing choices.