View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Extra Oily Fish in Fujairah

Yesterday dead fish were laid up on the beach just north of the Hilton Hotel. The normally azure-colored waves were inky black.

Today, much of the evidence has been cleared away by the Municipality beach cleaners, picked over by the birds and sucked back into the sea by the tide. A decidedly dead fishy smell lingers even a kilometer away from the beach. This spill appears to be small but the effects last long after the initial victims are removed from the beach.

Unfortunately, this is not the best time to be swimming in the briny or buying fresh fish, unless, you like your fillets cooked with crude, rather than olive oil.

“Fujairah's port works closely with government agencies throughout the UAE to protect the marine environment,” said Capt Mousa Murad, general manager of the Port of Fujairah, at the first session of the recent (24-28 March) Fujairah-hosted Bunkering Conference.

But how are spillages from the scores of oil tankers in Fujairah waters investigated and who carries the can for the damage to the fishing industry, let alone the marine and bird life?

Earlier this week, in a Gulf News article on the water activities around the Fujairah coastline, staff writer Maey el Shoush, was waxing eloquently about the ‘pristine beauty’ of this area.

Pristine, our environment might be, but so vulnerable.

Geoff Pound

Image: One of the many voiceless victims.