Fujairah to create 1.5 million colonies of coral

By Angel Chan

FUJAIRAH 20 April 2019:  The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE), has launched the Fujairah Cultured Coral Reef Gardens, in collaboration with Fujairah Municipality, Dibba Fujairah Municipality and the Fujairah Adventures.

In line with the Ministry’s strategy to protect the UAE’s biodiversity and ensure its sustainability, the project is set to include the cultivation of 1.5 million coral reef colonies over the next five years.

The Fujairah Cultured Coral Reef Gardens project that spans 300,000 square meters will include the cultivation of 1.5 million coral reef colonies and significantly boost the sustainability of the fish stocks, thereby safeguarding food diversity and food security in the country, said Wam.

Ecotourism Project

The protection of fish within the coral reefs will allow it to breed and grow. The Ministry is keen on promoting the project as an ecotourism destination. It is also anticipated to encourage the spirit of volunteerism and community work as the cultivation of the coral reefs will depend heavily on the volunteering efforts of the youth.

Initiatives include the installation of artificial caves to deflect underwater currents and provide a safe environment for marine organisms to breed.”

In addition, the launch event included a clean-up of select marine areas on the east coast of Fujairah. As part of the clean-up, volunteer divers aimed to mitigate marine environment pollutants in the waters off the emirate’s coast.

Coral Gardens

Spanning an area that equals nearly 60 international football stadiums, the gardens will be home to 1.5 million colonies of coral species, meticulously selected based on feasibility studies and research undertaken by MoCCAE, including Acropora, Symphillia, Pavona, Pocillopora and Stylophora.

The gardens will provide a safe haven for a large number of local fish species as well and boost their populations by protecting their eggs and larvae from predator fish and strong water currents that threaten their survival. As a result, it is set to drive the sustainability of fish stocks, which is among the key objectives of MoCCAE. In doing so, it will contribute to directly increasing the income of the fishermen – nearly 7,000 fishermen in 1,700 fishing boats work in the area.

Support Research

In other important outcomes, the project will also support research studies in the area on the various types of corals already present, their breeding patterns, and the types that are best suited to the local environment to enable their successful cultivation.

The diving sites in the gardens will contribute to strengthening the UAE’s status as a leading ecotourism destination – a prime area of focus for the Ministry. As part of this priority, the destination will be play an important role in the success of the Ministry’s ‘The UAE’s Natural Wonders’ initiative launched in 2018.

Dubai Gazette