A deal has been signed to boost aquaculture in the UAE by building a fish farm.
A feasibility study will be carried out to discover the best fish to stock, based on key attributes including local market value.
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) signed a MoU with Dubai World Central (DWC), the massive development around Al Maktoum International Airport, to enable the work to go ahead.
DWC will outline the project’s concept while MOCCAE will provide consultancy advice around the aquaculture industry.
Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, minister of climate change and environment, said: “National enterprises that are based on top-notch research studies and technologies are key drivers in our efforts to diversify food sources and increase the share of food produced at home to meet the needs of the local market.
“Fish is an important component of our local cuisine in the UAE, and we need to make sure our fisheries and fish stocks can continue to support the growing demands of our population.”
Khalifa Suhail Al Zaffin, executive chairman of DWC, said: “DWC is keen to bolster cooperation with government entities to accelerate the development of the country across varied spheres.
“Our new collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment will help establish aquaculture as a prosperous industry that contributes to making the UAE’s fisheries more secure and sustainable.”
A 2017 MOCCAE report on aquaculture in the UAE said the industry was “still in its initial stages”, with production in 2016 of 1,239.7 tons, consisting of seabream, seabass, shrimp, tilapia and sturgeon.
“Aquaculture is currently one of the pillars of economic, social and environmental development worldwide, with the pivotal role it plays in achieving self-sufficiency and meeting human protein needs at lower costs in a relatively shorter period than other animal protein products,” said the report.
Plans for DWC include an airport with five runways and capacity for 16m tonnes of cargo per year.
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