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Fishermen preparing their fishing nets at Al Khan Area Sharjah. Image Credit: Atiq Ur Rehman/Gulf News/Archive

Dubai: The seasonal ban on the fishing of pelagic fish using encircling nets will come into force on May 1, 2020, and run until October 31, 2020.

The resolution reflects the objectives of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) to regulate fishing seasons and align them with the proper fishing methods to ensure fishermen observe environmental considerations while practicing their profession. This helps protect ecosystems, enhance aquatic living resources, and boost local fish production.

According to the legislation, open season for the fishing of pelagic fish lasts from November 1 of every year to April 30 of the following year says a statement issued by the ministry.

Applicable to all fishermen registered with MOCCAE and operating registered speed boats (tarad), the decree also regulates the fishing of pelagic fish using encircling nets by standardising the specifications of the fishing gear.

The resolution prohibits the use of nylon fishing nets, and stipulates that the nets should not be closed from the bottom or attached to more than one boat. In addition, it bans discarding damaged nets and dead fish at sea or on the shore, obliging fishermen to dispose of them in designated places.

During the ban season, fishermen can change their fishing method without the need to amend this information on their boat license.

A study conducted by the Marine Environment Research Centre at MOCCAE indicated that the spawning season for pelagic fish varies according to the species — kingfish from March to June, long tail tuna from May to July, talang queenfish from April to July, and yellow tail scad from March to May. Meanwhile, barracuda has two spawning seasons — one from May to July and one in November.