Aquaculture for all

Penalties for Flouting Fishing Law Outlined

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has issued a Cabinet resolution on Law No. 18 for 2012 on the implementation of penalties for violators of regulations pertaining to fisheries and aquatic resources.

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The resolution stipulates that any person who practises fishing without obtaining permission from the authorities concerned and who is not registered in the fishing profession registry at the Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) shall be fined Dh2,000. If the violation was repeated, the boat licence shall be suspended for a month. The third time, the boats licence shall be revoked, reports KhaleejTimes.

The penalty for failing to notify the MoEW of any change in the registration application within one month shall incur a written warning for the first time and a fine of Dh500 for repeating it. The third time, the boat licence shall be suspended for a week.

If an unregistered and unlicensed boat is used for fishing, the owner shall receive a written warning. If repeated, the owner shall be fined Dh1,000. Violation for the third time shall incur cancellation from the fishermen registry.

According to the resolution, refraining from showing the boat or fishing licences when asked by the authorities shall incur a written warning, then a fine of Dh500 and a weeks suspension of the boat licence for the second and third time, respectively. A written warning shall also be issued for those who operate or moor their boats in restricted areas. When repeated, a fine of Dh1,000 shall be levied and if repeated again, the boat licence shall be suspended for a week.

The resolution also outlines penalties for violation of regulations pertaining to the allowed length of harvested fish stocks. Fishing, selling or transporting undersised fish stocks shall be punishable by a written warning and confiscation of the fish for the first time, a fine of Dh1,000 and confiscation of the fish for the second time and suspension of the boat licence for a week and confiscation of undersized fish for the third time. Shops found selling undersized fish shall be closed down for a week, while drivers of vehicles transporting undersized fish shall be fined Dh3,000 with confiscation of the fish.

Diving with the purpose of collecting aquarium fishes without written permission shall attract a written warning, followed by Dh5,000 fine if repeated and a one-month suspension of the diving licence, plus confiscation of fishing tools, if repeated again.

The resolution also details penalties for erecting coral reefs or taking crustaceans, invertebrates, or corals without written permission.

Other violations covered by the resolution include selling or possession of unauthorised fishing nets, littering of fishing waters, off-season fishing, fishing during fish-mating seasons, fishing of marine mammals and collection of turtle eggs. The resolution sets penalties for each of these violations.

The Cabinet has directed the MoEW to immediately enforce the resolution in coordination with the local authorities.