Abu Dhabi: The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) has signed an agreement with developer Miral to collaborate on marine conservation, research and rescue.
The agreement will see the EAD working on multiple efforts with the Yas SeaWorld Research and Rescue, which is part of Miral’s portfolio on Yas Island, EAD said in a statement.
Call 800555 (within the UAE)
Marine science hub
As a dedicated marine research, rescue, rehabilitation and return centre, Yas SeaWorld Research and Rescue serves as a marine science knowledge hub, thus contributing to marine life conservation in the UAE and the wider region.
Through this partnership, EAD and Miral will collaborate across multiple areas, including response to marine wildlife incidents and rescues, as well as the rehabilitation of rescued marine animals and their safe return to their natural habitat.
The two partners will also work closely to enhance education around marine life conservation through capacity building and outreach programmes.
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi
The centre is located adjacent to the upcoming marine-life theme park, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is part of the SeaWorld network, which also includes three facilities in the United States, which together list 40,000 rescues between them.
“This collaboration with Miral and Yas SeaWorld Research and Rescue is a significant step forward in our mission to protect and preserve the marine ecosystems of Abu Dhabi and the entire UAE,” said Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, EAD secretary general.
“By joining forces, we endeavour to improve the treatment of rescued wildlife, expand ecological research, and better understand environmental threats. It will also enhance the success of conservation efforts led by the EAD, ultimately benefiting the region’s marine wildlife, habitats, and ecosystems. We believe this partnership is of paramount importance for the future of conservation in the country, as it will support our ambitions to inspire and nurture the next generation of marine life scientists in the UAE,” she added.
Protecting marine life
“We are honoured to announce our partnership with the EAD. This collaboration is a testament to our shared commitment to protecting the UAE and region’s marine life, while pushing the limits of science and conservation to create a truly unparalleled knowledge hub.
"Abu Dhabi and the UAE have a rich maritime heritage and it is our responsibility to preserve this legacy for the years to come and forge a sustainable future for those who will inherit the earth from us. Our partnership with EAD is a significant milestone in this journey and we are committed to working closely to promote sustainable practices, advance research and rescue efforts and foster greater public understanding around the importance of conserving our oceans,” said Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, chief executive officer at the Miral Group.
Yas SeaWorld Research and Rescue will join EAD’s established Wildlife Stranding Network, facilitating marine wildlife rescue efforts in Abu Dhabi and other emirates.
In addition to facilitating satellite tagging, the network encourages collaboration among various partners in Abu Dhabi, and more broadly, seeks to enhance coordinated efforts across the emirates and the extended region. While the EAD will assist in facilitating necessary permits required for research and rescue activities, the centre will offer state-of-the-art rescue vessels, housing, and treatment of rescued species at its facility.
These efforts, as well as a high level of expertise in animal care, will support the rescue and rehabilitation capacity of Abu Dhabi.
The partnership will also serve as a driving force towards increasing awareness and appreciation of the unique characteristics of the Arabian Gulf and its diverse marine ecosystems. Additionally, the collaboration will prioritize the development of skills among national squads to create and implement policies aimed at protecting the region’s marine wildlife.
The MoU will also set out a roadmap where the center will serve as a knowledge hub, collaborating with EAD to develop educational content seeking to enhance public awareness around marine conservation. The two partners will also develop joint research initiatives to better understand the ecosystem values of sensitive nearshore habitats such as seagrass.
Working with students in related fields, EAD and Yas SeaWorld Research and Rescue will also provide internship opportunities to nurture the development of aspiring marine scientists.
The EAD and Yas SeaWorld Research and Rescue are committed to helping marine animals in need or at risk.
The EAD also encourages residents to call the 800555 Abu Dhabi Government hotline if they spot a stranded or injured animal, and to report unusual wildlife sightings.