Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi marine research vessel Jaywun receives Future Fit Seal award

24 Nov 2023

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) marine research vessel Jaywun, one of the most advanced crafts of its kind in the Middle East, has received the Future Fit Seal award. Granted by the UAE Government Development and Future Office, the Future Fit Seal award honours federal and local entities for designing clear, targeted, practical and exceptional projects to enhance the UAE’s readiness for the future.

Inaugurated in January 2023 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, Jaywun supports the UAE’s efforts in the field of marine sciences to address the impact of climate change.

EAD uses the vessel to conduct comprehensive monitoring and assessment of the marine ecosystem to manage marine biodiversity and provide a scientific platform for marine research in the UAE.

Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, visited Jaywun, where she was received by Her Excellency Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Managing Director of EAD, and Her Excellency Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of EAD.

Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi said that Jaywun is one of the most prominent projects to support the UAE’s readiness for the future, with the advanced data and research it provides contributing to increasing marine biodiversity, achieving the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, and developing sustainable government policies and programmes to address the impact of climate change.

Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi said: “The Future Fit Seal highlights the achievements of government entities that design impactful projects to enhance the UAE’s readiness for the future, achieve proactivity and sustainability in a rapidly changing world, and help leverage future opportunities to promote the UAE’s competitiveness.”

Her Excellency Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri said: “The development of the EAD research vessel pinpoints the keenness of the Abu Dhabi leadership to support the scientific approach adopted by EAD in order to enhance the sustainable management of the marine ecosystem, especially in the oceans, and become one of the leaders in scientific research using the most innovative tools and equipment.

“This new, innovative research vessel will contribute to maintaining our leadership in the field of scientific marine research and sustainable fisheries management, which is one of our key strategic priorities and success stories.

“Using the latest technologies and ensuring that all equipment and protocols on the vessel are environmentally friendly, we position Abu Dhabi as a leader in the environmental and sustainability scientific research in the region. Moreover, our methodology for reviving our fish reserves can serve as a benchmark for fisheries studies internationally.

“The EAD’s future vision for preserving fisheries, ensuring their recovery, and monitoring them through this research vessel is a testimony of our marine ecosystem sustainability commitment.  The research vessel is one of the main projects in shaping the future of the marine ecosystem, employing scientific research to sustainably manage fish resources, curb the impact of climate change and ensure the sustainability of resources for present and future generations.”

Jaywun is used to monitor fish reserves and marine biodiversity, and also as a means of encouraging young UAE National researchers to conduct research and studies into fisheries in the Arabian Gulf, the warmest sea in the world.

The vessel supports the implementation of several environment initiatives, including the Blue Carbon Assessment Project for Ocean Fisheries, through which the first survey to assess ocean blue carbon for fisheries in the region will be conducted.

The vessel will also help map the DNA baseline for more than 10 major fish species by studying their genome sequences. This survey will utilise both marine species collection methods and subsea soundwave techniques.

The project includes a comprehensive survey for following up on the UAE fisheries during 2023 and studying fish reserves and marine resources to update data related to their condition.

The comprehensive fisheries assessment survey is important at both the national and regional levels as it provides a clear image of the condition and trends of fisheries in the UAE, and contributes to adopting the necessary measures for their sustainability, development and recovery. Jaywun has about 30 personnel working on board and features state-of-the-art research equipment, with six laboratories for studying samples on the vessel, and a remotely operated vehicle that can dive underwater.

Future Fit projects are assessed by the Government Development and Future Office based on six key criteria: the project should focus on human-centred approaches and utilise emerging trends and data to design future readiness projects; the project's ability to create added value for the national economy and UAE society; the extent to which the project adheres to sustainable practices and utilises advanced technology to create a better future; whether the project is proactive, innovative, and practical, and contributes to enhancing future readiness, achieving flexibility and the ability to adapt to future changes; and whether the project enhances digital readiness through the adoption and development of advanced future technologies.