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The Jaywun Completes Fisheries Resources Assessment Survey in UAE Waters

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) announced that the most advanced research vessel in the region, Jaywun, has achieved a significant milestone by successfully completing the first phase of the Fisheries Resources Assessment Survey in the waters of the United Arab Emirates.

Jaywun Completes First-Ever Comprehensive Acoustic Survey of UAE’s Waters

Moreover, the vessel also completed the first-ever comprehensive acoustic survey of the UAE’s waters. This ground-breaking two-week study was conducted in the Arabian Gulf and the Sea of Oman and used advanced technology to examine underwater ecosystems and assess the population and distribution of marine life.

Acoustic Survey Helps Assess Health and Status of Fish Stocks

The acoustic survey involves using sound waves to estimate the abundance and distribution of fish populations in the ocean. Through analysis we can determine the size, density, and location of fish schools, helping to assess the health and status of fish stocks and helps us with sustainable fisheries management.

EAD UAE Nationals and International Experts Conduct 108-Day Sea Voyage

The vessel, manned by a team of EAD UAE nationals in collaboration with international experts, embarked on a remarkable 108-day sea voyage to conduct the survey, covering an impressive 324 sites across the UAE and gathering valuable data that will be used to evaluate and conserve the country’s marine resources. As part of the project nine UAE nationals were trained totalling 3,510 hours.

1,500 Samples Collected During Expedition

Over the course of the expedition, 1,500 samples were collected, enabling researchers to gain crucial insights into the region’s fish species and their habitats.

eDNA Baseline and Genomic Sequencing of Fish Species in UAE’s Waters

Additionally, in collaboration with G42 and OceanX, the research team accomplished the first eDNA (environmental DNA) baseline and genomic sequencing of fish species in the UAE’s waters. This innovative approach offers a deeper understanding of genetic diversity, allowing for more precise conservation and management strategies in the future.

First Phase of Fisheries Resources Assessment Survey Completed

Ahmed Al Hashmi, Executive Director of the Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD, announced the successful completion of the first phase of the Fisheries Resources Assessment Survey. This marks a significant milestone for the UAE’s ongoing efforts to safeguard its marine environment.

Acoustic Survey of UAE Waters

Al Hashmi stated that an acoustic survey was conducted for the first time in all of the UAE’s waters. This survey was conducted onboard the Middle East’s most advanced research vessel, Jaywun. The data collected by Jaywun’s dedicated team of UAE nationals will contribute to informed decision-making and sustainable management of the country’s fisheries resources.

Features of Jaywun

Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of EAD, the Agency commissioned Jaywun – a 50-metre, state-of-the-art multipurpose marine conservation and fisheries vessel. Jaywun is equipped with scientific equipment that includes a remotely operated vehicle, trawling and trapping kit, seabed mapping and acoustics, CTD (conductivity, temperature, and depth sensing device), and scuba-diving facilities. It also houses six laboratories: a fisheries laboratory, an acoustic laboratory, a chemical analysis laboratory, a bio-physical laboratory, a wet laboratory, and an air quality laboratory.

Research Campaigns Planned

The Agency has various research campaigns planned, including oceanic fisheries blue carbon assessments, climate change research, deep water habitat mapping and surveys (coral and seagrass), deep water megafauna surveys (including cetaceans, dugong, turtle, whale sharks), invasive marine species surveys, marine water quality, air quality, plastics, and underwater heritage (which includes shipwrecks and pearl diving beds). Jaywun will also be supporting the UAE’s climate-neutrality-by-2050 goal by conducting research into oceanic blue carbon.

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