Home » EAD and the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council partner to address microplastic pollution

EAD and the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council partner to address microplastic pollution

by Madaline Dunn

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) and the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC) are partnering to address the growing global challenge of microplastic pollution in the Abu Dhabi marine environment, it has been announced.

Faisal Al Hammadi, Executive Director of the Environmental Quality Sector at EAD, explained that microplastics are tiny plastic particles that can persist in the environment for a long time. 

“They pose a significant threat to ecosystems as they can be ingested by marine and terrestrial organisms, leading to potential harm to wildlife and ecosystem disruption,” said Al Hammadi.

This study is the first of its kind in the emirate and will see collaboration between the two continue until 2025.

The two parties will conduct a comprehensive assessment of microplastic levels by combining EAD’s scientific marine expertise and research capabilities with QCC’s state-of-the-art laboratory techniques and analysis proficiency, it was shared. 

The initial environmental survey was conducted in 2022 and undertaken by EAD’s marine team aboard ‘Jaywun,’ a marine research vessel. 

There, the team collected one hundred water samples, which covered the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Gulf, and Abu Dhabi waters. Sediment samples were also collected from Abu Dhabi’s coast, and all samples have now been analysed by QCC.

The alliance between EAD and QCC will create a methodology regimen, with the assessment of EAD’s data already providing insights into the status of microplastic pollution. 

According to the two parties, these findings are crucial to understanding the impact of these pollutants on marine organisms and will inform ongoing comprehensive environmental surveys encompassing water, sediment, and biota in emirate’s marine environment. 

Abdulsalam Al Hashmi, Director of the Environment Quality, Monitoring and Control Division at EAD, commented: “In our bid to assess microplastic contamination levels, EAD is conducting comprehensive and ongoing environmental surveys. These involve the collection of marine sediment, water, and biota samples from key locations across Abu Dhabi’s marine environment. The data and insights gained from this assessment will play a vital role in formulating strategies at both the local and national levels to effectively address and mitigate any impacts, and to institute a change in community practices.”

Abdalla Al Muaini, Executive Director of Central Testing Laboratory at QCC, said: By advocating for increased research and fostering collaboration between scientific communities and environmental stakeholders such as this partnership, QCC aims to inspire collective action and drive innovative solutions to combat the intensifying threat of microplastic pollution. The detailed analysis shall provide crucial insights for EAD to utilize laboratory analysis and data when developing their proactive measures in preserving the delicate balance of marine life.”

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