Hammour still served at many Dubai restaurants

Chef Silvena Rowe says restaurateurs must take ownership of issue

Hammour is an endangered species in the Gulf waters.
Hammour is an endangered species in the Gulf waters.

Overfishing of hammour is still an issue in the UAE, with some chefs deploring the practice of selling the endangered fish in some restaurants.

In an interview with Caterer Middle East, Silvena Rowe said she is certain that when she opens her own restaurant she will be able to serve local fish - but drew a line at serving hammour.

"I go to many restaurants here and they serve hammour. I went to a couple recently and they are talking about how hammour is overfished and and yet they have it on the menu. So it comes down to ownership as well," she said.

The School of Culinary and Finishing Arts' head chef Francisco Araya revealed to Caterer Middle East: "Everybody knows fish and shellfish are not caught in a sustainable way in the gulf. At the fish market it is easy to find hammour weighing less than a kilo and measuring less than 45 cm. This doesn´t happens at supermarkets where rules are respected but prices are very high."

The recently opened Mexican restaurant in Souk Al Bahar Fuego declares itself hammour-free. Its menu says it is a "hammour friendly" restaurant and asks diners to support its efforts to "save the hammour from extinction".

According to the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, overfishing of hammour has placed the species on the endangered list. In recent years, hammour has been over-fished seven times above the level that would allow the species to naturally replenish itself.

Tweet us at @CatererME to let us know your thoughts on the issue and which restaurants you have come across which serve hammour and which don't.

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