The EAD will be cooperating with Japan in the field of bluefin tuna aquaculture. (Photo: Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi)
UAE agency, Japan cooperating to farm bluefin tuna
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Wednesday, May 05, 2010, 23:30 (GMT + 9)
The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of the Government of Abu Dhabi with Japan’s Kinki University to collaborate in bluefin tuna aquaculture research and development.
The MoU was signed by EAD's Secretary General Majid Al Mansouri and Hiroshige Seko, Vice President of Kinki University at EAD's headquarters in Al Ma'moura Building.
This move follows a plethora of consultations and data exchanges between both parties, including a successful trip to Japan by an AED delegation headed by the Secretary General last October. The EAD delegation then witnessed firsthand Japan’s advances in general and Kinki University’s success in bluefin tuna rearing.
Kinki has been producing bluefin tuna commercially since 2004.
"Aquaculture will help us alleviate stress on natural fish stocks and improve food security in the Emirate," Al Mansouri stated.
Wild bluefin fisheries have been declining steadily in the past decades. Their populations in the Mediterranean and the eastern Atlantic oceans could become extinct within three years, warned the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
"This MoU will help us to benefit from Kinki University's experience in the culture of bluefin tuna and hammour. They have been researching the cultivation of Pacific bluefin tuna since the 1970s, successfully completing its full-cycle culture," he added.
Kinki University will be sharing its know-how, and their experts will be visiting Abu Dhabi for a feasibility study on setting up a farm using closed re-circulating aquaculture systems -- which may lead to a pilot project -- will be prepared in September. The university will also offer short- to medium-term technical training to EAD Emirati employees in Japan and the UAE both.
In turn, EAD will provide the requisite financial and logistical support.
The study is anticipated to estimate the expense of the project and help determine a suitable pilot facility site. Sir Bani Yas Island and Delma Island are two possibilities, said EAD's Thabit Zahran Al Abdessalaam.
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By Natalia Real