Heartbreaking news for Abu Dhabi’s dugong population with the deaths of five dugongs and one unborn dugong that appeared on the shores of Saadiyat Island recently.
Early indications and autopsy tests have suggested the deaths were caused by drowning after the animals were caught in an illegal fishing net known as Hiyali.
The drift nets, which reach in length from 500 metres to one kilometre, are used illegally by fishermen to catch king fish that are then sold in markets.
The nets are deployed at depths of about 10m and left to drift, but threaten dugongs which have poor eyesight.
Fishermen return to collect nets based on calculations about currents, but the nets are often lost and then pose a further risk to marine wildlife once they are abandoned.
Coastal patrols will be stepped up and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment announced it will be monitoring fish markets during the breeding seasons of vulnerable species. #dugong#abudhabi#illegalfishing#marineconservation#saadiyatisland#hiyali#kingfish#mocce#defend#conserve#protect