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Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to Commence Seasonal Ban on Fishing, Trade of Goldlined Seabream, King Soldier Bream

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) today announced that the seasonal ban on the fishing and trade of goldlined seabream (Rhabdosargus sarba) and king soldier bream (Argyrops spinifer) will come into force across the UAE on February 1 and continue until February 28.

The move aligns with the Ministerial Decision No. 1 of 2021, which regulates the fishing and trade of certain species of fish during their breeding season in the years 2021, 2022, and 2023. As per the decision, fishermen must release any goldlined seabream and king soldier bream fish caught accidentally in their fishing gear during the restricted period back into the water.

It also bans the sales of these species regardless of their origin in all fish markets and retail outlets over the same period. 

Ahmed Alzabi, Director of the Fisheries Sustainability Department at MOCCAE, said: “The decision is part of the Ministry’s strategic priority to conserve ecosystems and enhance fish stocks and local food production. Regulating the commercial fishing of goldlined seabream and king soldier bream will help replenish the stocks of these fish species in UAE waters.”

He added: “MOCCAE is keen to sustain local fish stock, as it represents one of our key natural resources. We have enforced multiple fishing bans during species’ breeding seasons to curb overfishing that threatens their continuity.”

Imposing a fishing ban during spawning season is one of the globally most applicable scientific methods to alleviate the pressure on fish populations and help them regenerate. MOCCAE has followed this approach to improve fish stocks.

Alzabi thanked fishermen for their compliance with the resolution in 2021, which considerably contributed to increasing the species’ numbers across UAE waters.

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