Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Types of Fish in Fujairah and UAE Waters

Names of Fish

It helps when fishing in Fujairah waters or buying fish at the Fujairah fish souq to have the name of the fish in both English and Arabic.

There is a short list on the board at the Fujairah fish market in both Arabic and English but unfortunately it does not come with a picture of the fish.

Thanks to the Ministry of Environment and Water, the fish in this photo album (link below) come with their names in Arabic (local name), English (common name) and Latin (scientific name).

If you catch a fish in Fujairah waters and it’s not listed in these photos, check one of the more comprehensive fish catalogues like the Fishwise Universal Fish Catalogue.


There are approximately 70 fish recognized as being commonly found in UAE waters. There is so much variety and amazing beauty in these fish species.

Those in the UAE’s MOEW department tell us that some of these fish are on the endangered list. Old time fishermen and those who have been going to the markets for years say that the supply of fish is not as plentiful as they used to be (see the video statement).

A study conducted by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) from 1978-2002 showed a decline of about 81% in all major commercial fish stocks.

The most popular fish for eating in the UAE—hamour (orange spotted grouper)—was the most impacted with a 91% decline over the last 30 years. Kingfish is overfished five times the sustainable level.

Choose and Fish Wisely

The EWS-WWF has helpfully produced their consumer guide, Choose [and Fish] Wisely, that is available at this download link.

In brief, here are their suggestions in the light of the problem of overfishing and shortages of supply:

Go For It!

(Stock is not experiencing heavy fishing pressure)

Ehrenberg’s Snapper (Naiser)

Sordid Sweetlips (Yanam)

Pink Ear Emperor (Shaari Eshkeli)

Yellow Bar Angelfish (Anfooz)

Black streaked Monocle Bream (Ebzimi)

Two Bar Seabream (Faskar)

Orange Spotted Trevally (Jesh Um Al Hala)

Good Choice But There’s Better

(Stock exploited within sustainable levels)

Longtail Silver biddy (Badah)

Small Tooth Emperor (Souli)

Black Spot Snapper (Aqalah)

King Soldier Bream (Kofar)

Think Again

(Stock is heavily overfished)

Orange Spotted Grouper (Hamour)

Spangled Emperor (Shaari)

Painted Sweetlips (Fersh)

Golden Trevally (Zuraidi)

Kingfish (Kanaad)

Snub Nose Emperor (Yemah)

White Spotted Spinefoot (Safi Arabi)

Goldlined Seabream (Qabit)

Take a Look

Photos with names of 70 fish found in Fujairah and UAE waters are in this photo album. (Photos courtesy of the UAE’s Ministry of Environment and Water)


Tradition and Atmosphere at the Fujairah Fish Market (plus photos), FIF, 20 September 2011.

Geoff Pound

More Fujairah news, resources, info, videos and photos are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: Orange Spotted Grouper (Hamour)—perhaps the most popular fish for eating in the UAE but sadly the stocks are in severe decline. (Photo courtesy Google Images)


Paul Devlin said...

Is there anywhere which provides a guide as to not just the names of the fish available but what sort of uses they have in cooking? Coming from the UK the fish we have available are very different. I know that Cod, Haddock and Coley etc are interchangeable as a white fish - here I am just lost!!! Any help, much appreciated.

Geoff Pound said...


Here's a UAE fish recipe book.


Apart from that, go to the Fish Market and talk to the vendors.

All the best.