Dubai: The Environment Emergency Office of the Dubai Municipality has caught nine people within the last month for fishing without a licence.

The move comes after the civic body stepped up its campaign to control indiscriminate fishing in the emirate with inspections every 24-hours.

People fishing without a licence face a fine of Dh2,000.

The fines and violations are specified in Cabinet resolution No. nine of 2012, issued by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, pertaining to the implementation of a list of fines for people violating regulations on marine wealth and life.

“There has been a drastic reduction in the number of people who are fishing without a licence, particularly after the resolution on fines was announced.

“We intensified our campaign and inspectors are out throughout the day focusing on Al Khor and Al Mamzar areas,” Khalid Suletin, Head of Environment Emergency Office, told Gulf News.

“We have fined nine people around the Creek since we intensified the campaign this year to control indiscriminate fishing in the emirate and our inspection intensifies later in the evening, around 7pm, when more people come for fishing,” he added.

The municipality issues fishing permits but there have been incidences of people fishing around the Creek, Mamzar Park and open beach areas - the campaign aims at curbing this practice which poses a threat to the marine environment.

According to Suletin, often people do not care about the size of the fish they catch.

He told Gulf News even the larva, which fish feed on is taken out, disturbing the marine life and people hunt for crabs and lobsters, threatening marine stock.

Dubai municipality issues two types of licences for recreational fishing — line and hook, either in coastline or with a leisure boat.

Obtaining a licence is mandatory for individuals who want to go fishing.

This is done in accordance with the Federal Law No. 23 of 1999 on the Exploitation, Protection and Development of Aquatic Resources in the UAE and the Federal Law No. 24 of 1999 for the Protection and Development of Environment.

Suletin said the civic body grants licences only if applicants adhere to certain requirements. “We issue fishing permits to people. But it is never meant to spoil our marine wealth. Permits are given with certain conditions, he added.”

To report any violations, call: 800900.