The marine and coastal environment of the UAE holds great importance in terms of economic, social and environmental aspects. It encompasses the majority of the population and biodiversity, most economic and social activities are held there, and it is an essential source of oil production, desalination and fishing, and a major artery for trade with the outside world.

In line with this importance, the marine and coastal environment in the UAE has received special attention. Various efforts have been made by specialized authorities to protect the marine environment and its resources, including issuing and implementing laws and regulations to protect it from pollution, regulate activities in the marine environment or the coastal strip and establish marine protected areas for the conservation and development of biodiversity.

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, in collaboration with its partners in the public and private sectors, continues to work towards greater protection of the marine and coastal environment and the preservation of its vital role through implementing the principles of the integrated management of the marine and coastal environment.


Reports & Studies

Bulletins / Guides



Age Determination

The process of identifying the age of fish by counting the number of annulus or ring formation on its otolith

Artisanal Fishing

(or traditional/subsistence fishing) are various small-scale, low-technology, low-capital, fishing practices undertaken by individual fishing households (as opposed to commercial companies

Age Composition

The age frequencies of a given stock obtained through length frequency and otolith studies

Beach seine

Seines operated from the shore. Seine net is a long wall of netting with or without a bag, supported by floats and sinkers, which are operated by surrounding areas of water with potential catch. The net is operated by ropes attached to the end of wings which are used for hauling and for herding the fish.


The part of the catch which is taken incidentally to the target species and which is discarded

Brackish Water

water that is saltier than fresh water, but not as salty as seawater

Bony fish

Fish class with calsified bone as its skeleton


The total weight of all the fish in the stock or in a given area

Biological Studies

The scale at which life is studied, the kinds of organisms studied, and the methods used to study them

Corals Reef

Large underwater structures composed of the skeletons of colonial marine invertebrates called coral.Each individual coral is referred to as a polyp. Coral polyps live on the calcium carbonate exoskeletons of their ancestors

Catch & Effort

The quantity of catch and the corresponding amount of effort from a certain fishing operation

Catch Per Unit Effort

The most commonly used index of relative abundance in fisheries studies and may be recorded in as the number or weight of fish caught per hook per hour, of lobsters caught per trap per day, or of demersal fish caught per hour of trawling

Cartilaginous fish

A class of fish with cartilage as its skeleton. This includes sharks, rays, and chimeras.


Crustacean an arthropod of the large, mainly aquatic group Crustacea, such as a crab, lobster, shrimp, or barnacle

Exploitation Ratio

Ratio between the number of individuals caught and the total number of individuals dead, over a certain period of time

Forked Length

The measurement taken from the anterior-most part of the fish to the end of the median caudal fin rays (Anderson and Gutreuter 1983)

Fishing Mortality

The total weight of all fish caught

Fisheries resources

In general, refers to elements of a natural aquatic resource (e.g. strains, species, populations, stocks, assemblages) which can be legally caught by fishing

Growth in Weight

The increase in body weight of an organism through time

Gill nets

are rectangular walls of netting kept erect by means of floats and sinkers and positioned in the swimming layer of the target fish, which catch the fish by holding them in the mesh by gilling.

Gonado-Somatic Index

The ratio of the gonad weigth of the fish to its total weight

Growth in Length

The increase in body length of an organism through time

Gutted Weight

The weight of the organism after the viscera or the internal organs are removed

Growth Parameters

Factors that affect the growth of the organism such as availability of food, competition, water quality, etc.


an animal lacking a backbone, such as an arthropod, mollusc, annelid, coelenterate, etc. The invertebrates constitute an artificial division of the animal kingdom, comprising 97 per cent of animal species and about thirty different phyla


The gonad is still incapable of sexual reproduction

Long line

large number of hooks are attached to the mainline by means of branch lines

Length Frequency Distribution

A graph showing the number of fish at each length (cm) of a certain catch

Length Weight Relationship

Estimation the fish weight based on the known length

Length at First Maturity

Mean length at which fish of a given population develop ripe gonads for the first time


The organism is capable of sexual reproduction


Small plastic pieces less than five millimeters long which can be harmful to our ocean and aquatic life


Mostly microscopic, single-celled photosynthetic organisms that live suspended in water


A scale used to specify how acidic or basic a water-based solution is.


A dynamic process that guarantees the persistence of natural and human systems in an equitable manner. Sustainable development (SD): Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (WCED, 1987)


A measure of the degree to which the water loses its transparency due to the presence of suspended particulates


Type of heterotrophic plankton that range from microscopic organisms to large species, such as jellyfish. Zooplankton are found within large bodies of water, including oceans and freshwater systems