AD Ports Group and CMA CGM to Help Preserve Marine Biodiversity at Khalifa Port
AD Ports Group, CMA CGM Group, and Ecocean, an innovative company serving aquatic biodiversity, have signed a scientific cooperation framework agreement that will see the installation of 48 Biohuts in Khalifa Port.
Designed to restore biodiversity and promote marine life in coastal and harbour areas, the Biohut module is a submerged structure that provides a safe and supportive habitat for marine life to thrive.
The modules are specially designed to provide a refuge and breeding ground for a variety of marine species, including fish, crustaceans, and other marine life essential to the health of coastal ecosystems, particularly in environments where it has been disturbed or damaged by human activity.
Biohut® modules come in the form of modular cages, made from eco-friendly, non-toxic materials, offering a solid, protective structure for marine wildlife while minimising its impact on the environment.
These structures will be deployed in specific areas of Khalifa Port, where marine life needs support and regeneration.
The Biohuts® will be installed in the port in Q1 2024, at the CMA CGM’s future terminal, which is currently under construction. This pilot phase will last 5 years with the inclusion of a monitoring part.
David Gatward, Chief Engineering & Technical Services Officer, AD Ports Group said: “We understand that the infrastructure we develop serves our economy, industry, and community. Simultaneously, maintaining biodiversity is crucial for life-sustaining processes.
"At AD Ports Group ETS, we design with sustainability in mind and retrofit existing structures to ensure a sustainable legacy for the local community. It's vital to adapt our infrastructure to enhance environmental conditions while consciously designing new projects with sustainability as a primary consideration.”
CMA CGM has redesigned the shipping routes of its container ships to take into account cetacean breeding and migration areas, and when this is not possible, requires its ships to reduce speed to a maximum of 10 knots in certain areas recognised as whale breeding grounds.
CMA CGM Group has also long been involved in biodiversity protection and restoration projects around the world, particularly in the Middle East.
Félix de Carpentier, Group Vice President - Sustainability, CMA CGM, said: "Preserving biodiversity is part of CMA CGM “Acting for Planet” pillar, at the heart of the Group's sustainability commitments.
"We have been working for years with experts to better understand the mechanisms of its preservation and support protection and restoration projects which contribute to reducing human activities environmental footprint."
Ahmad Al Khayat, Acting Senior Vice President - Innovation, AD Ports Group, said: “We are delighted to launch this project with CMA and CGM and Ecocean. As a Group, we recognise that through thoughtful, innovative initiatives, we can actively and significantly boost biodiversity."
Khalifa Port, AD Ports Group’s flagship deep-water port, is a multi-purpose, semi-automated port strategically located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Ranked 3rd globally on the 2022 Container Port Performance Index, it handles various types of cargo, providing links to over 90 international destinations and serves 25 major shipping lines.
Khalifa Port is home to CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal, Autoterminal Khalifa Port, CMA Terminal and Abu Dhabi Terminals.