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The Al Kanad that went for Dh200,000 at a charity auction at Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club on Saturday. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Imagine a fish going for Dh200,000? Well, that’s precisely how much an Al Kanad or kingfish fetched at a charity auction in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Weighing 30.8kg, the king fish was the catch of the day in the Abu Dhabi King Fish and Cobia Fishing Championship.

It was netted by Emirati Hamdan Al-Obaidli, one of the 400 participants who took part in the championship organised by the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC).

At Dh6,482 per kilogram, it beat the previous record of Dh125,000 for a single fish auctioned at the same championship last year.

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The auction underway

According to the organisers, the 15 biggest fish caught during the championship were auctioned off, raising Dh592,000 for the Emirates Red Crescent.

Kingfish, a delicacy
Known for its pale pink flesh, sweet, rich flavour and lack of too many bones, the King Fish tail is a delicacy in many cuisines. The entire body is covered with small, loosely attached scales. The dorsal fin is normally folded back into a body groove, as are the pelvic fins. Its cutting-edged teeth are large, uniform, closely spaced and flattened from side to side. Prices for a kilo of small kingfish in supermarkets begin at around Dh40.

Humanitarian cause

Emirati Saif Al-Darwish, who bought the record-breaking Al Kanad after the live bidding, said: “I heard about the auction a few days ago, and the main reason to be here was to support a good humanitarian cause.”

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The live bidding

Hazza Bin Rubaya'a Al Muhairi, founder of sponsoring Al Tayar team, said: “The new record means we achieved more than one goal through the auction, which was a channel to deliver support to those in need.”

In its third year, the Abu Dhabi King Fish and Cobia Fishing Championship was open to anyone with a fishing licence issued by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi.

Five women take part

Of the 400-plus participants, five were women. The championship prize money of Dh1.3 million was distributed amongst the top ten in the King Fish category and top five in the Cobia category.

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Over 400 participants took part in the fishing championship. Most of them were men.

Fishing for the competition was allowed anywhere in Abu Dhabi waters and participants went as far as Dalma Island in the Persian Gulf, approximately 42 km off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

Organisers said, “Some catches took a few hours, others up to two days. The championship is now a well-established event and is held to preserve the UAE’s proud fishing heritage. Its other objective is to raise funds for those in need and each round, a particular charity is chosen to receive the proceeds.”

The auction lasted one hour and was attended by more than 100 businessmen and enthusiasts. It was conducted by ADIMSC officials and each catch was verified by videos produced by participants showing them making the catch, organisers added.

The winners

While the top winner in the kingfish fishing category was Hamdan Al-Obaidli, with his fish weighing 30.85kg, Rashid Al Qubaisi came second with his fish weighing 29.33 kg. Third place went to Tariq Al Mansouri who caught a 29.11 kg fish. In the cobia fishing category, the first place went to Mohammed Abdullah Al Marzouki whose fish weighed 29.40 kg, while the second prize went to Ahmed Hilal Al Dhaheri with a 25.17kg fish and the third prize to Badr Saddiq Al Khaja with a fish weighing 24.36 kg.