Contraband and surplus fish is to be donated to disadvantaged families to reduce food waste and mark the Year of Zayed as part of the Fish Fridge scheme
Fresh contraband and surplus fish is to be distributed to underprivileged families following an agreement between the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the Fujairah Charity Association (FCA), which was signed on Wednesday.
The agreement supports the nationwide Fish Fridge campaign, announced in 2017 as part of initiatives to mark the Year of Zayed.
“The ministry will liaise with fishermen’s associations to collect surplus fish as well as fish confiscated by authorities from the fish market every day,” said Sultan Alwan, assistant undersecretary of the regions sector at the ministry.
It is prohibited to sell endangered species or juvenile fish and fishermen are subject to strict licensing regulations in relation to the number of fish caught and the size of their fishing net.
“Authorised personnel will then hand over the fish to the association to distribute it to disadvantaged families on the same day, in accordance with health regulations. Apart from providing nutrient-rich food to those less fortunate, the scheme offers the beneficiaries an opportunity to earn an additional income through preparing ready-to-eat meals and supplying them to restaurants.”
The agreement is in line with the ministry’s strategy to promote social responsibility, charity and optimal use of food.
The Fish Fridge initiative seeks to build unity between charitable institutions across the seven emirates. “Our partnership with the FCA is the first step in this regard,” Mr Alwan said. “Our two organisations will form a joint committee to oversee the implementation of the agreement and coordinate regarding any new developments or requirements for charity work.”
Ali Al Abdooli, director general of FCA, said: “The Fish Fridge initiative is a prime example of an effective food waste reduction campaign that can serve as a model for other food-related schemes. We will use the database of underprivileged families registered with us to distribute the fish received from the ministry.”