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THE COUNTRY & THE ENVIRONMENT - MARINE AND COASTAL ENVIRONMENT

Five-star home for a variety of fish in Abu Dhabi

Posted on 16/01/2011

Over a thousand fish of different sizes and species picked a five-star hotel in the capital as their new home. Yellowmouth Grouper, Dog Snapper, Blue Runner and many more breeds made the 700-metre waterway that connects the entire Qaryat Al Beri complex their new home. It was a surprise to the engineering team who discovered the presence of aquatic life in the canal. The team is protecting, feeding and ensuring that the water is suitable for their new guests. "The discovery of fish in the ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi joins Wildlife Society to help protect hawksbill turtle

Posted on 29/12/2010

As part of its commitment to encourage biodiversity conservation strategies and plans, the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) is supporting the regional Marine Turtle Conservation project launched by the Emirates Wildlife Society in Association with WWF (EWS-WWF). UPC's support of EWS-WWF's Marine Turtle Conservation Project will witness the organisation adopting an endangered hawksbill turtle which will be tagged with a satellite transmitter. The adopted turtle is to be named ‘Estidama' ...  >>MORE

Injured turtle given treatment in Dubai

Posted on 26/12/2010

Manama - An injured turtle, belonging to an endangered species, is getting a new life thanks to efforts by Qatari and UAE teams. The Green Sea Turtle or ‘Chelonia mydas' was discovered by the Pearl-Qatar Health, Safety and Environment team during a routine monitoring and surveillance visit around the island in October 2010. The turtle, estimated to be 20 years and weighing 61 kilos, was suffering buoyancy problems and was unable to dive. Veterinary intervention proceeded with blood ...  >>MORE

Project monitors threats to coral species in UAE

Posted on 15/12/2010

A coral reef monitoring project is studying the reproductive patterns and natural protective mechanisms of coral reefs along the shoreline of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, a marine biology and ecology expert said in the capital on Tuesday. The project is collecting data to aid the long-term monitoring of coral species and reefs, he said. The project is vital to determine the baseline (standard to which future changes can be measured) for coral reefs in the area so that significant future changes in ...  >>MORE

Work on Al Murjan Reef Rehabilitation Project is officially underway

Posted on 08/12/2010

Under the Patronage of Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women Establishment, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs, work on the Al Murjan Dubai Reef Rehabilitation Project was officially launched with the placing of the first ceremonial stone on the project reef site. During the inaugural ceremony, a Commemorative Plaque was unveiled, engraved with a special message from Sheikha ...  >>MORE

Corals from Palm Jebel Ali to be relocated to Jumeirah

Posted on 26/10/2010

Corals from a reef off Jebel Ali are going to be relocated to Jumeirah as the sedimentation caused in the area from offshore projects is slowly killing them. Sand-coated corals near the Palm Jebel Ali and Waterfront development will be moved to more tranquil waters opposite the Dubai Ladies Club in Jumeirah where environmentalists are confident they will survive. Coastal dredging to clear harbours and provide beach sand generates huge muddy plumes for corals. In Jebel Ali, frequent water ...  >>MORE

EAD supports Dugong Conservation Congress

Posted on 05/10/2010

The Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi (EAD) is hosting the Dugongs Conservation Congress. This is the First Official Signatory State Meeting of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)/Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) for the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs and their Habitats throughout their Range (Dugong MoU) since the establishment of the office of the MOU's coordination unit in Abu Dhabi. Representatives from UNEP, CMS, EAD, as well as ...  >>MORE

UAE to host international forum on Dugong conservation

Posted on 27/09/2010

A galaxy of scientists, researchers and experts on marine mammals will join representatives from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) and NGOs for the First Official Signatory State Meeting of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs and their Habitats throughout their Range to be held from 4-6 October 2010 at Radisson Blue Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The United Arab ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi to breathe life into coral reefs

Posted on 28/08/2010

On a mission to breathe life into degrading coral reefs, the Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi (EAD) has embarked on a two-year project to learn more about the colourful world of corals. The Coral Reef Restoration programme was launched in March this year in association with Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT) and Japan Oil Development Company (JODCO). Scientists on the programme are interested in gathering information about two aspects — the reproductive cycle of coral ...  >>MORE

The reef that turned the tide

Posted on 12/08/2010

Glistening against the dark blue of the Gulf of Oman off the coast of Fujairah, the rocky outcrop looks so tranquil few would suspect its dramatic recent history. To find the source of the drama, swim out from the sandy beach opposite the reef known as Dibba Rock and dive down – a few metres with a mask and snorkel or, for the more adventurous, 10 to 15 metres deep with scuba gear. "It used to be an underwater paradise,” said Christophe Chellapermal, a keen scuba diver, who first saw the ...  >>MORE

Saadiyat Island is an ideal environment for hawksbill turtles

Posted on 09/08/2010

A batch of more than 350 Hawksbill turtles recently hatched safely on Saadiyat Island, newly hatched turtles instinctively head for the sea the moment they emerge and because bright light disorients them. The Hawksbill turtles live in the coastal shallows off the shore of Saadiyat Island. Named after its conspicuous beaked snout, the Hawksbill lives in warm waters and feeds off sponges and molluscs and rarely strays from shallows, visitors on will be able to see the turtles in their natural ...  >>MORE

Trackers establish turtle preferences

Posted on 26/07/2010

The movement of 20 Hawksbill turtles in the big blue sea tracked by satellite has revealed their preference for swimming rather than resting in the Arabian Gulf, staying close to the shores of the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. "It is interesting to see that none of the turtles took up residence on the east side of the Gulf," said Dr Nicolas Pilcher, Marine Turtle Specialist and technical adviser for the project. "All of them went west or south. These findings show us how important ...  >>MORE

Group chances upon dead sperm whale in Dubai

Posted on 19/07/2010

One of the smallest of the world's biggest creatures, a dwarf sperm whale, was found beached along Palm Jebel Ali a few days ago after colliding with a vessel which probably caused death on impact. The unusual discovery is a rare stranding in the UAE. Patrol staff from Emirates Marine Environmental Group (EMEG) found the miniature whale early on Wednesday morning. Major Ali Saqr Al Suwaidi, head of EMEG, said this is the first time he has seen such a whale in UAE's waters. The whale was in ...  >>MORE

Dubai Municipality enhances coastal monitoring programme in Dubai

Posted on 06/07/2010

As part of the efforts undertaken in protecting the coastal zone and marine environment of Dubai Emirate, Dubai Municipality has recently completed the first phase of the project for developing a real-time coastal monitoring system, which is an enhancement of the current coastal monitoring programme conducted by the Dubai Municipality for more than ten years. Eng. Alya AbdulRahim Al Harmoudi, Head of Coastal Zone and Waterways Management Section of the Environment Department, said that the ...  >>MORE

CNIA, EDA signs MoU on conservation of marine life

Posted on 30/06/2010

Critical National Infrastructure Authority (CNIA) in Abu Dhabi and Emirates Diving Association (EDA) signed yesterday a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance the cooperation and exchange expertise in the areas of search and rescue , as well as conservation of the marine life in Abu Dhabi. On behalf of the CNIA, Brigadier Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, director general of CNIA signed the MoU, whereas Abdullah Suhail Al Aberi, Director General of EDA signed on behalf of EDA. In his ...  >>MORE

EAD launches pioneering online Coastal Atlas

Posted on 16/06/2010

An interactive guide with an innovative online component to Abu Dhabi's coastline and waters will support policy-making and coastal development planning, as well as educate people about the Emirate's rich marine biodiversity. The result of two years' work, the Atlas is the first comprehensive resource of its kind in the Gulf region and one of the most technologically-advanced in the world. The Atlas is a dynamic application which will be regularly updated ensuring current information is ...  >>MORE

Satellite tag reveals tale of shark Sammy in the wild

Posted on 16/06/2010

The satellite tag of a baby female whale shark released back into the wild by a Dubai hotel's marine department earlier this year has popped up showing where she travelled for 33 days. Sammy the whale shark was placed in Atlantis, The Palm in August 2008 and released in March this year. No photos of the secret night time release were issued by the hotel but the tag's information has now been mapped by Mote Marine Laboratory scientists in the United States. Scientists have satellite-tagged ...  >>MORE

Whale shark makes short stopover in Abu Dhabi

Posted on 10/06/2010

A young member of the ocean's largest fish species made yet another special appearance in the capital, attracting admirers who wanted to swim beside it. The whale shark — which is an endangered species — was spotted on Sunday by marine scientists at the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency inside Al Bateen harbour. The five-metre whale shark had entered the harbour while roaming in the coastal waters for food, the environment agency said. Abu Dhabi's coastal waters are known as a hosting habitat ...  >>MORE

Critically endangered Turtle begins nesting on Bu Tinah Island

Posted on 25/04/2010

A group of critically endangered sea turtles have begun nesting on Bu Tinah Island, according to researchers from the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) who are surveying the island's unique biodiversity. Last week, 5 nests were confirmed by EAD experts and the number is expected to increase over the coming months. The Hawksbill turtles have been observed arriving onto the beach to nest as night falls on the Island. They were seen to be digging a pit in the sand, laying their eggs, ...  >>MORE

EAD and Tokyo University partner to restore Abu Dhabi's coral

Posted on 11/04/2010

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) has launched a Coral Reef Restoration Programme in coordination with Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT) and Japan Oil Development Company, Ltd. (JODCO). This pilot project is part of a programme to study the feasibility of coral restoration in Abu Dhabi. The initial stage of this project will be to evaluate the state of corals and the applicability of the technology to Abu Dhabi reefs. If successful, the programme will provide ...  >>MORE

First hawksbill turtle eggs of season found in Dubai sanctuary

Posted on 10/03/2010

The first turtle eggs of the season have been laid by a hawksbill turtle who made her way to a protected beach in Dubai. Hawksbill turtles, a critically endangered species, lay their eggs on a 10-kilometre stretch of beach that has been fenced off to keep people out. However predators like birds, lizards and foxes often find their way into the sanctuary and, in fact, foxes ate all but three of the eggs laid by the first of the marine visitors this year. "It's nature," said Major Ali Al ...  >>MORE

Bu Tinah in natural treasures shortlist

Posted on 25/02/2010

Student campaigners have helped put Bu Tinah Island, located off the western shores of Abu Dhabi, on the final shortlist of 28 natural treasures that are in competition for the "Official New7Wonders of Nature" title. `Bu Tinah is a protected marine park, has shallow waters, sea-grass beds and tall mangroves set amid extensive coral reefs. It hosts rare and endangered marine life, including dugongs and hawksbill turtles, according to the website www.new7wonders.com, where votes can be cast. ...  >>MORE

Mangroves in Abu Dhabi rescued under habitat protection scheme

Posted on 21/02/2010

Despite uncertainty about whether the Abu Dhabi Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) will open hotels in the capital's zero-carbon Masdar City, the group is already working towards establishing low-environmental-impact measures for their projects. One of them is combating the destruction of the indigenous mangroves, one of the most sustainable species in the UAE, in the capital. "These habitats are abundant in Abu Dhabi, but declining rapidly due to coastal development, climate ...  >>MORE

Water system can fight UAE algae’s red tide

Posted on 14/02/2010

The capital's second desalination plant on the Gulf of Oman coast will have advanced technology never before used in the Middle East to treat harmful blooms of marine algae. Its installation was prompted by the red algae, or red tide, which hit the UAE's east coast for eight months from August 2008. Water desalination plants incurred large losses as the algae clogged filters The Abu Dhabi Water Resources Master Plan estimated losses of more than US$100,000 (Dh368,000) a day for the ...  >>MORE

East coast marine life rejuvenated by Le Meridien Al Aqah's reef block structure project

Posted on 10/02/2010

The clear waters off Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort have become home to numerous fish species, after the introduction of 35 man-made reef structures, which were deployed as part of an international project to rehabilitate the world's ocean reef ecosystems and to protect the natural reef systems. The extensive project began in June 2009 with 14 reefs and today was inspected by divers from Al Boom Diving and volunteers from the resort. To date, more than AED 100,000 has been invested in the ...  >>MORE

Plan to map coral reefs off Fujairah Coast

Posted on 30/12/2009

Experts are planning to undertake comprehensive mapping of coral reefs off the coast of Fujairah to plan for their conservation, officials stated. Mohammed Al Afkham, Director of the Fujairah Municipality, recently met experts from the National Coral Reef Institute, based in the United States, and representatives of the Emirates Wildlife Society to discuss the research underway and planned. Fujairah and other Arabian Gulf and Sea areas were named one of the priority Global 200 Ecoregions ...  >>MORE

East coast regains allure but red tide threat lingers

Posted on 01/11/2009

With minimal traces of red tide in the waters around the east coast, after having plagued Fujairah for months earlier this year, bathers and divers are enjoying the open seas once more. But for how long? Red tides, or harmful algal blooms, occur cyclically and are a result of natural phenomena which cause a build-up of algae that starve the water of oxygen and block sunlight, thus killing fish and corals below. Ebrahim Al Jamali, a red tide expert and director of the Marine Resource ...  >>MORE

Capital centre will protect dugong

Posted on 13/10/2009

It is the cow of the sea: almost half a tonne of slow-moving mammal, a defenceless giant that spends its life feeding ponderously on sea grass. And although its numbers are now much depleted, some 7,000 endangered dugongs still roam the waters of the Arabian Gulf. The only place there are more is off the northern shores of Australia. Now Abu Dhabi plans to set up a new regional wildlife centre to protect the remaining population. An agreement between the United Nations Environment Program ...  >>MORE

MRRC strives to create national coral reefs nursery

Posted on 02/10/2009

The Marine Resources Research Centre (MRRC) of the Ministry of Environment and Water has made amazing progress in its coral propagation programme in the Dibba Fujairah (Eastern Region). The MRRC has developed an innovative technique for farming corals using less mother corals to grow more small colonies. Mustafa Al Shaer, head of fisheries unit, MRRC, said fragments with a length of 3-4 cm were used to produce one colony last year and 20-35 colonies this year. 'These studies on corals ...  >>MORE

Department draws up regulations, guidelines for responsible marine use

Posted on 05/08/2009

Regulations and guidelines for the responsible use of the marine environment have been set out by the Department of Planning and Development in Ports Customs and Freezone Corporation. EHS has partnered with Al Boom Diving to conduct an eco-diving course for EHS and DP World personnel. EHS, Al Boom and the Emirates Marine Environmental Group (EMEG) have been working together on a baseline survey to assess the biodiversity value of a proposed marine reserve at Jebel Ali. EMEG has a coastal ...  >>MORE

Move to extend Al Yasat reserve

Posted on 21/07/2009

The Abu Dhabi Government is reviewing a law that would more than quadruple the size of the Al Yasat Marine Protected Area, pushing its boundaries into the Arabian Gulf. The preserve, measuring 428 square kilometres, includes four islands and their surrounding waters. Rare marine creatures, including sea turtles and the dugong – which is endangered – live, breed and forage there. The move would both foster more biodiversity and improve the UAE's environmental reputation worldwide, officials ...  >>MORE

Rehabilitation centre returns turtles to sea

Posted on 25/06/2009

Twenty-four turtles were returned to the sea on Wednesday after a short stint on land during which they were rehabilitated and given time to recover their strength back. Hawksbill juvenile turtles, most of which are usually under two years old, have been routinely washed up on Dubai's coastlines for the past six months. They were covered in barnacles and were extremely weak. – Gulf News ...  >>MORE

Measures to protect ecosystem

Posted on 15/06/2009

The East Coast near Al Aqah in Fujairah has become the first beach to have 14 man-made reef block structures as part of the project to rehabilitate the world's ocean reef ecosystems and to protect the natural reef systems. The project initiated by Le Meridien Al Aqah in collaboration with Fujairah Municipality and others on Sunday. The first phase of the project launched with feature of 14 man-made reef structures, which were deployed off the resort in Al Aqah in the presence of Fujairah ...  >>MORE

Coral reef settling into new home

Posted on 07/06/2009

As Dubai develops its coastline, so the marine environment comes under increasing threat. But Gregor McClenaghan discovers that a novel attempt by one major property developer to minimise the environmental impact of its planned coastal project is proving a considerable success A year after it was dragged 18 kilometres through the ocean to make way for a construction project off Dubai's coastline, a fragile coral reef appears to be adjusting to life at its new home. The 2,200-square-metre reef ...  >>MORE

Nakheel transports 5500 tons of coral to World breakwaters

Posted on 03/06/2009

Nakheel, a leading property developer in Dubai, on Tuesday unravelled the details of the success of its unique method of transporting more than 5,500 tonnes of coral from one site to another, in an unprecedented move made possible through the efforts of academics and marine life experts. With a method which had never before been tried anywhere in the world and over a period of seven weeks, between April and June 2008, a total of 1,129 rocks with an average weight of 5 tonnes were relocated ...  >>MORE

Environment ministry tackles red tide issue

Posted on 02/06/2009

Dr Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahd, Minister of Environment and Water, said that the red tide phenomenon is natural and work is being done to minimise its effects. Bin Fahd, who opened the "Fish and Marine Life Self Sufficiency Seminar" in Sharjah on Monday, also said that red tide affects the local environment directly on a limited scale. He said that the ministry, its Marine Life Department in Umm Al Qaiwain and other establishments are working on controlling the phenomenon. The minister also said ...  >>MORE

Marine cluster opened in Sharjah

Posted on 25/05/2009

Sharjah aquarium and Sharjah Maritime Museum inaugurated the marine protected area as part of Sharjah's commitment to conserve and develop the local environment. Sharjah aquarium divers and a group of volunteers have built an artificial marine protected cluster which will give visitors a rare glimpse into about 200 different marine species of Sharjah. Manal Attaya, Director General of Sharjah Museums, said the project aimed at raising awareness among youngsters about the UAE eco-system in the ...  >>MORE

Environmental officials look for ways to stem red tide

Posted on 20/05/2009

UAE environmental authorities are exploring all avenues to find answers to the red tide problem. Potential solutions include a zooplankton capable of feeding on the algal blooms that cause the red tide phenomenon and a clay mixture sometimes sprayed on affected areas to weigh down the algae. While no individual measure has so far proved successful, marine experts have reiterated that red tide, currently three to four nautical miles off the Dubai coastline and one mile off Umm Al Qaiwain, is ...  >>MORE

Underwater clean-up in Fujairah

Posted on 17/05/2009

The first major underwater clean-up of waters off Dibba and Al Aqah took place today. As part of its ongoing partnership with the UAE-based Emirates Diving Association on activities such as Clean Up Arabia, International year of the reef, Le Meridien Al Aqah supported the event by offering hospitality services and also with participation by staff members. The resort's world-class dining outlets provided refreshments to the 100-plus participants, as well as a barbecue lunch after the event on ...  >>MORE

Dolphin returns to Indus river

Posted on 27/04/2009

The recently rescued Indus River Dolphin, was tagged and successfully returned to the Indus river near Sukkur Barrage, Pakistan by World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature-Pakistan, in collaboration with the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) and the Sindh Wildlife Department. Nicknamed Musafir (traveller) by the staff of Sindh Wildlife Department who found it in January 2009, the endangered dolphin a young male 2.5 years old, weighs 18kg and measures 118 cm in length. It was found trapped in ...  >>MORE

ADMA-OPCO launches a new book on "Marine Environment in the UAE"

Posted on 05/03/2009

The Abu Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO) has launched a new book on the Marine Environment in the UAE. Titled, "Pearl in the Gulf", the book features comprehensive data and information on the UAE traditional marine life style prior to the discovery of oil, thus shedding extensive light on the inseparability of the UAE people and sea life. The book, produced by the Public Relations Division, was launched yesterday during the opening ceremony of an environment exhibition organised by the ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

Five-star home for a variety of fish in Abu Dhabi


Abu Dhabi joins Wildlife Society to help protect hawksbill turtle


Injured turtle given treatment in Dubai


Project monitors threats to coral species in UAE


Work on Al Murjan Reef Rehabilitation Project is officially underway


Corals from Palm Jebel Ali to be relocated to Jumeirah


EAD supports Dugong Conservation Congress


UAE to host international forum on Dugong conservation


Abu Dhabi to breathe life into coral reefs


The reef that turned the tide


Saadiyat Island is an ideal environment for hawksbill turtles


Trackers establish turtle preferences


Group chances upon dead sperm whale in Dubai


Dubai Municipality enhances coastal monitoring programme in Dubai


CNIA, EDA signs MoU on conservation of marine life


EAD launches pioneering online Coastal Atlas


Satellite tag reveals tale of shark Sammy in the wild


Whale shark makes short stopover in Abu Dhabi


Critically endangered Turtle begins nesting on Bu Tinah Island


EAD and Tokyo University partner to restore Abu Dhabi's coral


First hawksbill turtle eggs of season found in Dubai sanctuary


Bu Tinah in natural treasures shortlist


Mangroves in Abu Dhabi rescued under habitat protection scheme


Water system can fight UAE algae’s red tide


East coast marine life rejuvenated by Le Meridien Al Aqah's reef block structure project


Plan to map coral reefs off Fujairah Coast


East coast regains allure but red tide threat lingers


Capital centre will protect dugong


MRRC strives to create national coral reefs nursery


Department draws up regulations, guidelines for responsible marine use


Move to extend Al Yasat reserve


Rehabilitation centre returns turtles to sea


Measures to protect ecosystem


Coral reef settling into new home


Nakheel transports 5500 tons of coral to World breakwaters


Environment ministry tackles red tide issue


Marine cluster opened in Sharjah


Environmental officials look for ways to stem red tide


Underwater clean-up in Fujairah


Dolphin returns to Indus river


ADMA-OPCO launches a new book on "Marine Environment in the UAE"