With the aim of preserving the UAE’s ancestral maritime heritage and passing it onto future generations, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi's (EAD) Youth Council has launched the initiative Bahruna Dhukhr (Our Sea is Our Wealth), in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Fishermen’s Association and Modon Properties
The initiative focuses on implementing educational programmes that highlight the UAE’s maritime heritage and aims to preserve the environment through a multipronged approach, including school trips for pupils of all ages to instil in them the principles of sustainability and emphasise the importance of preserving and sustaining fish wealth.
The initiative coincides with the Year of Sustainability announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, to help consolidate the concepts of sustainability and highlight its importance to the marine fishing sector, as well as its role in supporting the fishing profession.
Abdulrahman Qaderi from EAD’s Youth Council said: “The initiative focuses on transferring the sustainable marine heritage of our ancestors to future generations. This is considered a vital step towards protecting our natural resources and enhancing the sustainability of the marine environment. It is one of many initiatives that will be launched to introduce to young people to our natural environment and our cultural and environmental heritage and emphasise why preserving them is important for us and for future generations.”
The initiative will be implemented at government and private schools through the Sustainable Schools Initiative (SSI) network, which was created by EAD. Field trips and awareness workshops will be organised to introduce the various fishing methods and equipment used locally, with a focus on the main fish species in our waters, which are considered an integral part of the UAE’s natural heritage and a vital resource for fishermen. Experienced fishermen will also contribute by conveying their experiences and inspiring stories to the students in a way that revives their sense of marine heritage and the importance of ancestral knowledge.
This initiative will reach more than 5,000 students in 100 schools registered within the SSInetwork, introducing them to marine heritage and the marine environment. It will also provide a unique opportunity for students to learn about healthy seafood and the different types of fish found in Abu Dhabi’s waters, and ways of cleaning, cutting and cooking fish. Students will also be introduced to the types of fishing vessels and ancient and modern means of fishing, with a focus on the importance of fish for food security in the UAE, and the health benefits of fishconsumption to the human body.