Seafood

A severe decline in fishing stocks reveled by an assessment carried out by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi has prompted the government to place restrictions, promote sustainable fishing and increase awareness among the general public. The decline is a result of the exponential increase in the UAE’s population, tourism and trade, resulting in a large demand for seafood. In addition, according to WWF, over exploitation, coastal development and growing maritime traffic have had an impact on local fisheries. Reports by the press suggest that consumption for seafood in the UAE stood at 24kg for 2015 and predicted to exceed 900,000 tonnes by 2030.

Overfishing in the region has caused a dramatic impact on the population of favoured local species such as hammour and hammour (a member of the grouper family) and kingfish. As a result, around three quarters of the UAE’s demands for seafood are met through imports including some Norwegian seafood products which are known for their quality. A practical and current solution to this problem, and to meet the country’s high demand for seafood, is the development of aquaculture, which is being actively promoted by the Fisheries Department. There is still a lot of potential for development as current offer by fish farms does not meet demand.

Around three quarters of the UAE’s demands for seafood are met through imports including some Norwegian seafood products which are known for their quality as a few are currently being exported to the region. A practical and current solution to the above problem, and with regards to the country’s high demand for seafood, is the development of aquaculture, which is being actively promoted by the Fisheries Department. There is still a lot of room for development as current offer by fish farms does not meet demand.