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THE COUNTRY & THE ENVIRONMENT - MARINE AND COASTAL ENVIRONMENT

Marine life in U.A.E. recovering in extreme conditions

Posted on 15/06/2014

Marine life in the U.A.E. is facing man-made and natural stresses, but is recovering if not thriving. The country's marine life is found in two completely different bodies of water — to the north in the Arabian Gulf and to the east in the Gulf of Oman, connected to the Indian Ocean. More than 500 different species of fish inhabit the Gulf waters, with many more living in the Indian Ocean to the east of the U.A.E.. Sultan Alwan, Assistant Undersecretary for Water Resources and Nature ...  >>MORE

Turtle conservation takes baby steps in Dubai

Posted on 14/06/2014

Emirates Marine Environment Group's rehab initiative on Jebel Ali beach stretch succeeds in helping endangered hawksbill turtles to proliferate Exit 13 on Sheikh Zayed Road en route to Abu Dhabi — past Ibn Batuta mall, past the Emarat petrol station, past the Etisalat power grid on the left — takes you to a stretch of road that had no other cars on it. Take a right turn 50 metres after the green Etisalat sign and you're stopped by security guards at a gate made of blue steel boards that read ...  >>MORE

Sharjah Aquarium celebrates World Oceans Day

Posted on 08/06/2014

The Sharjah Aquarium celebrated World Oceans Day with a number of activities under its social responsibility initiative "Because We Care,” now running for the sixth consecutive year. The department released a number of seahorses into their natural habitat as an initiative to preserve the biodiversity of the U.A.E.'s maritime environment. The Sharjah Aquarium Team, in collaboration with marine biologists from the Emirates Marinelife Photography Group, completed a successful breeding ...  >>MORE

Hawksbill turtle nest discovered on Saadiyat beach

Posted on 03/05/2014

The Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) said that the first successful hatching of a hawksbill turtle nest has been discovered by its environment team. The hawksbill turtle nesting season, which is on a number of islands in the UAE, is under way on Saadiyat beach. The nest was spotted in the capital by a TDIC member. The hawksbill is listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List as its population has declined by more than 80 per ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi dives deep for another world record

Posted on 24/04/2014

Scuba divers plunged the depths of the city's ports yesterday in an attempt to break the record for the world's largest underwater clean-up. Organised by Abu Dhabi Ports Company together with Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company, the clean-up covered Abu Dhabi's Free Port, the New Free Port, the nearby Fisherman's Port, Zayed Port and Das Island. The effort, which took place over the course of 24 hours, started in the early hours of yesterday morning. The goal, said organisers, was to secure ...  >>MORE

Sea turtles come home to Saadiyat Island

Posted on 27/03/2014

Turtles are coming home to Saadiyat Island to hatch. With the annual nesting season for hawksbill sea turtles just getting under way (late March to June), authorities are taking steps to protect the coastal dune system of Saadiyat Beach in Abu Dhabi. Residents hitting the beach have been urged to take extreme care not to disturb turtle nests, and also report to authorities if they spot any. "Residents should report any turtle nest findings to the nearest beach-front property, or to the ...  >>MORE

UAE signs pact to protect sharks from fin traffickers

Posted on 18/02/2014

The UAE has signed a new agreement to protect migrating sharks as efforts continue against shark fin traffickers. Eight other Arab countries signed the agreement in Dubai at the City Seasons Suites hotel on Monday. A UAE official told Gulf News the agreement forms part of wider local measures to protect all sharks against over-exploitation. Monday's commitment is known as the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks. It has been introduced by the UN-linked ...  >>MORE

UAE and six other Arab countries to sign MoU to protect sharks

Posted on 16/02/2014

Founders of the charity Shark Guardian holds public session for schools as part of their mission to educate people on what is happening to sharks. What can be more deadly than a shark? Well, a lot of things apparently, including toasters and falling coconuts. More than 5,000 school students in Dubai have been learning these facts along with the importance of preserving shark populations in order to protect the environment, over the past few weeks. The educational efforts come as the UAE and ...  >>MORE

UAE turtles in race to increase awareness of their plight

Posted on 07/12/2013

A loggerhead turtle called Joey had some tough records to beat when he set off along with six others from a Dubai beach on Thursday in this year's turtle race Weighing in at 50 kilograms, Joey lumbered from the beach beside Mina A'Salam hotel and into the sea, playing his part in efforts to raise awareness of the rehabilitation of sick and injured sea turtles. A satellite transmitter on his shell will track whether he travels farther than Storm, another loggerhead, who swam 5,098km last ...  >>MORE

EMAL hatches plan to help endangered turtles

Posted on 24/10/2013

Mysterious tracks identified in 2011 as being those of female Hawksbill Turtles visiting the Emirates Aluminium (EMAL) beach area to lay eggs, have sparked a campaign to help protect one of the world's most critically endangered sea species. The industrial flagship's campaign has provided hundreds of fragile baby turtles with a head-start in their already perilous life journey. On discovery of the tracks, EMAL's Emergency Response and Security (ERT) personnel marked and protected the nests, ...  >>MORE

Coral thriving at Nakheel's The World five years after 18km underwater move

Posted on 02/09/2013

Dubai's largest coral reef has grown by an estimated 20 per cent since being relocated by Nakheel to a new home at The World Islands five years ago, according to marine experts. In summer 2008, using previously untested methods, Nakheel moved 2,200 square metres of reef more than 18km underwater to save it from the effects of infrastructure development. The exercise - recently featured on a Discovery Channel TV documentary about Dubai's engineering achievements - took 49 days and cost more ...  >>MORE

The UAE wetlands designated by Ramsar as sites of international importance

Posted on 06/07/2013

Four UAE wetlands in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah, have been designated as sites of international importance by the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention), an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. In 2007, the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary in Dubai became the first UAE wetland to be named by Ramsar as a site of ...  >>MORE

Sea turtles return home to Saadiyat Beach for nesting

Posted on 21/05/2013

The Environmental Services team at the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, has spotted the first sea turtle nest on Saadiyat island, marking the start of this year's nesting season. The critically endangered Hawksbill sea turtles will now start to nest on the destination's beachfront and will be under the observation of TDIC's environmental services team, as part of the company's Hawksbill ...  >>MORE

Need to preserve UAE’s wetlands

Posted on 08/05/2013

The projects to preserve wetlands in the country should be integrated in a positive way with urban growth and contribute to the community, according to Secretary-General of the Ramsar Convention Anada Tiega. Commenting on his first ever visit to the UAE on a tour of the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary — which is declared a Ramsar site in the country — Tiega said such projects should not be conceived as an impediment to the urban development. "Ramsar convention is an intergovernmental treaty ...  >>MORE

UAE, RAMSAR explore joint cooperation

Posted on 05/05/2013

The UAE and the Ramsar (Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat) discussed ways of improving sustainable management of wetlands according to international best practices, developing a national strategy for wetlands, compiling of the national report on wetlands and establishing a data base on wetlands in the UAE. Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, received on Thursday Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi's Al Wathba Wetland Reserve declared as Ramsar Site

Posted on 30/04/2013

The Al Wathba Wetland Reserve in Abu Dhabi has been recognised internationally and declared as a Ramsar site, the first in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) announced on Monday. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has ratified the Ramsar Convention ever since it came into force back in 2007. Today, Al Wathba Wetland Reserve joins a prestigious list of over 2,000 other internationally recognised wetlands around the world. The Convention on Wetlands of International ...  >>MORE

Marine Research Centre to be constructed in UAQ

Posted on 21/04/2013

Construction work for the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Marine Research Centre in Umm Al Qaiwain was inaugurated yesterday by Dr Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water. The Dh75 million project was launched in February 2013 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, upon a grant from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to contribute to the protection of the UAE's marine ...  >>MORE

Coral reefs to adorn UAE coastline

Posted on 15/04/2013

In a bid to conserve fragile habitats, the Marine Environmental Research Centre at the Ministry of Environment and Water is transplanting coral reefs along the UAE coastline. Contributing towards protecting the areas where sea creatures live, the move to transplant these coral reefs has been set forth to achieve the strategic objectives of the ministry for creating a sustainable development for marine life. The ministry aims to conserve habitats which are easily vulnerable to risks, and take ...  >>MORE

Sharjah's Mangrove Natural Reserve joins RAMSAR List of Wetlands of International Importance

Posted on 28/03/2013

Mangrove Natural Reserve (Al Hafiya and Al Qurm reserve) of Kalba Kalba Eco-tourism Project, has become the latest entrant of the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. The Mangrove Natural Reserve is home to a number of rare bird species as well as the endangered green sea turtles and the long-fingered lizard. H. H. Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council member and Ruler of Sharjah, received during an audience here yesterday registration and accession ...  >>MORE

UAE's Mangrove and Alhafeya Protected Area in Sharjah enlisted as Ramsar Site 2013

Posted on 21/03/2013

The Mangrove and Alhafeya Protected Area in Khor Kalba, Sharjah, was enlisted as a Ramsar site, the Chairwoman of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) of Sharjah told reporters today. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, or the "Ramsar Convention" is an intergovernmental treaty that embodies the commitments of its member countries to maintain the ecological character of their Wetlands of International Importance and to plan for the "wise use", or sustainable use, of all of the ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi starts spatial mapping of its coastline

Posted on 12/03/2013

Abu Dhabi has started mapping its vast coastline to boost sustainable economic development in the remote areas. Abu Dhabi's mainland coastline stretches over 764 kilometres and its waters include around 215 islands, which extend its coastlines to 1,671 kilometres. The oil-rich emirate also has a diverse and rich marine environment, which includes fragile wetlands, mangroves and an internationally important dugong population. These marine areas will become increasingly important contributors ...  >>MORE

Red tide alert along UAE areas in Sea of Oman

Posted on 07/03/2013

The Ministry of Environment and Water has indicated the possibility of the Red Tide phenomenon in certain maritime areas of the UAE in the Sea of Oman. The ministry based its assessment on biological activity resulting in the release of chlorophyll pigments that point to the existence of fungi responsible for Red Tide. Sultan Abdullah Bin Alwan, Assistant Undersecretary for Water Resources and Nature Conservation, said that the ministry is working on coordinating environment control in the UAE ...  >>MORE

Making way for the Hawksbills

Posted on 05/03/2013

The five-star St Regis hotel and Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) prepared the Saadiyat Island Resort for its most special guests: the endangered Hawksbill turtles. "We came early morning to beat the heat to prepare the sand dunes for this year's turtle nesting season,” said Dr Nathalie Staelens, head of the environmental services at TDIC. A team of about 70 people from TDIC, its contractor Al Futtaim Carillion and St Regis arrived at the resort's beach at 8am on Sunday ...  >>MORE

1,000kg trash removed from seabed

Posted on 24/02/2013

One thousand kilograms of waste — including aluminium cans, empty bottles, plastic, glass, ropes, metal pipes and bits of old boats — are now no longer part of the marine life, after a clean-up campaign. About 50 professional deep sea divers cleaned the garbage from the sea floor off the coast of Sharjah. Organised by the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) and other government bodies on Saturday the ‘Flag Island Seabed Cleanup Campaign' is the first-of-its-kind event. Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali ...  >>MORE

Arabian Gulf corals survive seawater temperatures of up to 36 degrees Celsius every summer: Study

Posted on 11/02/2013

Coral reefs are predicted to decline under the pressure of global warming. However, a number of coral species can survive at seawater temperatures even higher than predicted for the tropics during the next century. How they survive, while most species cannot, is being investigated by researchers at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS) and New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). We tend to associate coral reefs with tropical seas of around 28 degrees, where even slight warming ...  >>MORE

Safety campaign to target sea goers

Posted on 31/01/2013

A new sea safety awareness campaign was launched on Wednesday in the capital by the UAE's Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority (CICPA), a specialised government body that protects the critical infrastructure and coasts in the country. Bihar 2013 targets all sea goers in the UAE, whether they are using the sea for leisure, fishing or commerce. The main goal of the campaign is to reach the largest number of people of different age groups, cultures, and social status, whether ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi Port’s sustainable growth aids rare flora, fauna to flourish

Posted on 16/01/2013

On the sidelines of the International Water Summit 2013, being held at Abu Dhabi Exhibitions Centre, from Jan.15-17, Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) has released the findings of a new study that demonstrates the sustainable development of the eight kilometre, Khalifa Port breakwater, is rapidly evolving into a vibrant ecosystem. Commissioned by ADPC, as part of its commitment to sustained environmental growth coupled with economic development, the independent study, carried out by marine ...  >>MORE

Breaches of marine turtle conservation law will invite fines, jail terms: MoEW

Posted on 18/11/2012

The Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) on Saturday has called on UAE residents to support marine turtle conservation by stringently complying with the law that prohibits hunting turtles and marine mammals. Hunting sea turtles and marine mammals of all types and sizes or collecting their eggs and tampering with their hatching and breeding nests will be subject to strict penal actions including prison terms, an MoEW statement said. The UAE Federal Law No.23/ 1999 on the exploitation, ...  >>MORE

UAE laws aim to prevent shark overfishing

Posted on 14/10/2012

Mohammad Tabish, fisheries specialist with the Ministry of Water and Environment, says as top predator, sharks must be protected through stringent regulations placed upon the commercial fishing industry in the UAE. Speaking at the Shark Conservation in Arabia Workshop, Tabish said the UAE is meeting the call for protection through detailed legal measures designed to ensure that the Gulf's apex predator is here for future generations to enjoy. "Sharks are one of the most important fish species ...  >>MORE

Shark protection in Arabia could throw lifeline to endangered sharks

Posted on 09/10/2012

Effective conservation measures in the Arab world could help to secure the future of shark species that are threatened with extinction globally, a conference was told yesterday. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List ranks the level of threat faced by a wide range of animals including sharks, rays and related species. However, the figures apply to worldwide populations, and a lack of research in the region means it is not known whether or not populations here have ...  >>MORE

UAE to host shark conservation forum

Posted on 26/09/2012

Top marine scientists from around the world will converge in Dubai next week for the inaugural Shark Conservation in Arabia Workshop. Organised by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the four-day forum is to be held at City Seasons Suites from October 9-11 in coordination with the Ministry of Environment and Water to find solutions to thinning shark stocks in the Gulf. Roughly 30 species of shark in the Gulf are facing fishing pressures that could have long-term impacts given ...  >>MORE

Leading scientists converge in Abu Dhabi to conduct field research on Gulf coral reefs

Posted on 16/09/2012

The NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Institute, with the participation and support of the Ministry of Environment and Water Marine Environment Research Centre, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, and the Fujairah Municipality, will host 15 experts in the field of marine biology for a weeklong workshop in Abu Dhabi designed to generate new scientific findings on the nature of coral reefs in the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The scientists who will come from the US, Australia, the UK, Saudi Arabia, and the ...  >>MORE

UAE is making intensive efforts to protect dugongs from extinction

Posted on 08/08/2012

The United Arab Emirates is running a series of programs to protect dugongs from extinction, which is implemented by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) and Total United Arab Emirates. According to a classification made by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the dugongs are currently listed as one of the internationally endangered animals. This program comes in the framework of joint cooperation agreement between the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi and Total, which aims ...  >>MORE

Endangered Hawksbill turtles hatching on Saadiyat Island

Posted on 08/08/2012

Two resort employees spotted hundreds of baby turtle tracks on the beach of Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi last week, which led them to the discovery that endangered hawksbill sea turtles were hatching on the island. The duo were quick to alert the environment team of the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) which monitors the turtles under its Hawksbill Sea Turtle Conservation Programme. "We've been checking the beach first thing every morning since the nest was laid,” said Shiva ...  >>MORE

Murjana wins The Great Gulf Turtle Race

Posted on 12/07/2012

After covering a distance of 1,343km, a turtle named Murjana has been crowned the winner of The Great Gulf Turtle Race. Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF) announced the winners of the race on Wednesday in which 28 turtles took part. The race kicked off on June 12, in a bid to raise awareness about the plights facing hawksbill turtles, as part of the EWS-WWF Marine Turtle Conservation Project, which aims to map key foraging areas vital to the future survival of this ...  >>MORE

Endangered Hawksbill Turtles now hatching on Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island

Posted on 10/07/2012

The eagerly anticipated hatching of the first Hawksbill Sea Turtle nest on Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island has occurred in the dune conservation area fronting the spectacular five-star The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Abu Dhabi, with its young brood making a successful return to warm Arabian Gulf waters. The hatching was discovered by keen-eyed beach staff of The St Regis, who spotted baby turtle tracks leading from the Saadiyat Dune Protection Zone to the shore, and alerted the environment ...  >>MORE

Join the turtle race

Posted on 05/07/2012

Now, nature lovers can keep track and vote for their favourite turtles online for the Great Gulf Turtle Race. You would be giving your favourite turtle the chance to win the titles of ‘Most Favourite Turtle', or ‘The Longest Distance Travelled Turtle'. On June 12, the Emirates Wildlife Society-World Wildlife Fund (EWS-WWF) launched a symbolic virtual race that reports the distances these wild marine turtles are swimming in an interactive race board. The race for four weeks started on June 12 ...  >>MORE

Turtles race to the finish line

Posted on 03/07/2012

It's flipper to flipper as the 28 Hawksbills competing in the Great Gulf Turtle Race get closer to the finish line. Racing ahead is Murjana, who is sponsored by Anonymous. She has travelled 1,204km since the race begun on June 12. In second place is Laura Bora, sponsored by Gulftainer, who has travelled 1,138 km, and in third is Shelby, sponsored by YPO, clocking up 1,084km. 7DAYS' entry in the race - Al Bahar - has been taking her time and covered 589km as of yesterday. She is in 21st ...  >>MORE

Doing it for the dugongs

Posted on 24/06/2012

There's one big problem with tagging a dugong - they are very, very fat. Graceful, yes; beautiful, yes but it's hard to clip a tag on them because the fat doesn't give anything to pin the tag on. That's one of the problems Dr Himansu Das of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi's biodiversity management sector has been facing recently. He's part of a UAE team that has been working closely with experts from Australia to protect declining numbers of dugongs, which the International Union for ...  >>MORE

UAE team supports campaign to protect sharks

Posted on 09/06/2012

Three UAE marine scientists have joined dozens of global academics to pressure the Hong Kong government to protect sharks from finning practices that research suggests are decimating shark populations around the world. Roughly half of the annual world shark-fin production is shipped through Hong Kong, a top destination for countries such as the UAE which is said to be the fifth largest exporter of the shark-fin soup delicacy to the dried seafood market in Hong Kong. In a letter presented by ...  >>MORE

Hundreds in Dubai paddle in campaign for cleaner seas

Posted on 03/06/2012

Children paddled with their parents, teenagers rowed in kayaks with friends, and teams of men and women sped out to sea in dragon boats as part of a global event for cleaner oceans yesterday. More than 400 enthusiasts gathered on Kite Beach off Umm Suqeim to support Paddle for the Planet, which aims to raise awareness about protecting the sea. "Events like this are very important for Dubai because it increases understanding about the ecosystem," said Scott Sanderson, an Irish expatriate who ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

Marine life in U.A.E. recovering in extreme conditions


Turtle conservation takes baby steps in Dubai


Sharjah Aquarium celebrates World Oceans Day


Hawksbill turtle nest discovered on Saadiyat beach


Abu Dhabi dives deep for another world record


Sea turtles come home to Saadiyat Island


UAE signs pact to protect sharks from fin traffickers


UAE and six other Arab countries to sign MoU to protect sharks


UAE turtles in race to increase awareness of their plight


EMAL hatches plan to help endangered turtles


Coral thriving at Nakheel's The World five years after 18km underwater move


The UAE wetlands designated by Ramsar as sites of international importance


Sea turtles return home to Saadiyat Beach for nesting


Need to preserve UAE’s wetlands


UAE, RAMSAR explore joint cooperation


Abu Dhabi's Al Wathba Wetland Reserve declared as Ramsar Site


Marine Research Centre to be constructed in UAQ


Coral reefs to adorn UAE coastline


Sharjah's Mangrove Natural Reserve joins RAMSAR List of Wetlands of International Importance


UAE's Mangrove and Alhafeya Protected Area in Sharjah enlisted as Ramsar Site 2013


Abu Dhabi starts spatial mapping of its coastline


Red tide alert along UAE areas in Sea of Oman


Making way for the Hawksbills


1,000kg trash removed from seabed


Arabian Gulf corals survive seawater temperatures of up to 36 degrees Celsius every summer: Study


Safety campaign to target sea goers


Abu Dhabi Port’s sustainable growth aids rare flora, fauna to flourish


Breaches of marine turtle conservation law will invite fines, jail terms: MoEW


UAE laws aim to prevent shark overfishing


Shark protection in Arabia could throw lifeline to endangered sharks


UAE to host shark conservation forum


Leading scientists converge in Abu Dhabi to conduct field research on Gulf coral reefs


UAE is making intensive efforts to protect dugongs from extinction


Endangered Hawksbill turtles hatching on Saadiyat Island


Murjana wins The Great Gulf Turtle Race


Endangered Hawksbill Turtles now hatching on Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island


Join the turtle race


Turtles race to the finish line


Doing it for the dugongs


UAE team supports campaign to protect sharks


Hundreds in Dubai paddle in campaign for cleaner seas