Nakheel proposes Human-made Reef Project
Dubai, 23 November 2011
Nakheel, as the leading property developer in the Middle East for one-of-a-kind coastal projects, recognized from the very beginning that developing a response strategy for coastal environmental incidents was essential for the sustainability of its iconic projects and company brand.
Historically, fishing was an important industry and a way of life for the local people of Dubai. Today fishing is still an important industry and even for non-fishing residents of the community, the availability of locally caught fresh seafood is one of the attractions of life in Dubai. The construction of the Palms and other developments along the Dubai coastline has involved the loss of traditional fishing grounds and no commercial fishing is currently permitted at Nakheel developments.
Nakheel initiates to implement a human-made reef project with the aim of enhancing marine fisheries resources and providing high relief, hard-bottom habitat in open seabed areas.
Mr. Ali Rashid Lootah, Chairman of Nakheel said:
“We are confident that the implementation of a sustainably managed Human-made Reef Project will enhance fisheries resources and improve habitat for reef fishes in Dubai waters”.
Human-made reefs (also known as artificial reefs) are very effective devices for attracting and supporting large populations of reef-associated fish. They can provide complex, hard surface habitat in areas where only soft bottoms occur, which includes the majority of Dubai’s marine waters. It is Nakheels’ intention to manage its human-made reefs sustainably. Only a small percentage will be fishable to help ensure fisheries resources will not be over-exploited.
It is envisaged that some sites, such as northwest of Pam Jebel Ali, would be suitable for the development of quasi-natural coral reefs using local ‘caprock’ stones and sites near the Waterfront Islands and The World suitable for commercial fisheries human-made reefs.
At an early stage of the Project a consultation exercise will be conducted involving key stakeholders, including fishers, to help with choice of human-made reef structures and the selection of deployment sites.