It's difficult to keep a diver occupied when the seas are against us and we are land based.
As an active club though members keep busy with other interests and report daily on developments in the marine sector in the UAE and further afield. Some are very amusing at times as you will see below.
Locally, some have been keynote guest speakers for Natural History groups:
Other developments that members reported are some sad news with our Dugongs.
See article below.
Illegal fishing practices responsible for 20 dead Dugongs in Abu Dhabi:
Abu Dhabi is home to the world’s second largest population of Dugongs, with around 3,000 found in the Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve. Dugongs, along with their foraging habitats and their migratory routes in the UAE, have been protected under Federal Law No. 23 and No. 24 since 1999. As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species, the UAE has an international commitment to protect local Dugong species. This represents an important pillar of the legacy of the nation’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to preserve the environment and support regional and global efforts towards the conservation of Dugongs.
Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Executive Director of Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity at EAD, said: "The Agency will continue to prioritise the protection of Dugong habitats and ensure that enforcement of the laws continues to be applied strictly, in partnership with the Critical Infrastructure & Coastal Protection Authority (CICPA). We strongly urge all fishermen to cast their nets mindfully, prudently and responsibly and fish in a sustainable manner – in line with our local and federal laws."
A silver lining though with the ban on Gargoor Fishing Nets - We encounter these abandoned nets on the sea floor every week so welcome news and I hope that other Emirates will follow this good example.
Ministry of Climate Change bans use of gargoor fishing nets in Abu Dhabi:
The UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MoCCAE, has issued Ministerial Resolution No.82 of 2019, which bans the use of gargoor nets in Abu Dhabi effective 1st May 2019.The survey revealed that the demersal fish stock is vulnerable to high deterioration; the Hamour (Orange-spotted Grouper) and Farsh (Painted Sweetlips) have witnessed a significant decline to 10 percent of their adult (reproductive) stock size and are overexploited by up to five times the sustainable limit. The decision requires all fishermen who are registered with MoCCAE to suspend the use of gargoor nets in the waters of Abu Dhabi before 1st May, 2019, the day the resolution begins to be enforced.
Further afield, one member reported on a distressed Moray with the below report.
''So, one of the big morays on Inchcape is struggling with a fishing hook in its gullet. I was with students today and could not intervene. Attempting to remove the hook itself is probably not a good idea - apparently their bites are loaded with bacteria.
I do plan to return Mon/Tue to at least cut the fishing line protruding from the mouth and snagged on the wreck. The poor animal can't even move.
This will involve some risk of getting bitten, but I can live with the odds. The sight of that poor animal desperately trying to swallow the hook while being unable to move is more than I can live with''. Reports were that divers did return and release the Moray.
On a lighter note, in house Engineers at the club have been exploring different methods of integrated weight systems. We look forward to being a spectator at the upcoming trials.
Ian Hussey and Dive Member Contributions.