Bleak future for sharks in the UAE

Photograph: Barbara Lang-Lenton


Followingthe screening of “Sharkwater” in Dubai, hosted by the Emirates Diving Association (EDA), Mr.Ibrahim Al-Zubi, Environmental Advisor for the EDA, was invited last Friday to talk about sharks LIVE on EmiratesNews ( 8:30 pm News). He discussed the need of shark protection in UAE and the surroundingregion.


InArticle 29 of the UAE Federal Law 23 that: “The Minister shall determine thebanned species of fish and marine creatures for catching for extracting theireggs, skins or fins, or for any other purposes.”  Further articles of the by-law 2001 stipulatethat licenses are required to catch living marine creatures. 


According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO),the UAE is one of the main Middle East exporters of shark fins to Hong Kong,exporting around 400-500 tonnes per year between 1998 and 2000.

The latest figures from 2003 show that shark catch went upto 3,060 tonnes a year in the UAE. “The UAE is an import-export hub,though it is not clear whether the number of shark fins exported originateentirely from the UAE or are just passing through the country,” said DrChristophe Tourenq, science and research manager for EWS-WWF. 

Theefforts of the EDA and the UAE diving community have shown results as theMinistry of Environment announced this morning the Shark Fishing Ban Decree andit can be read in the Gulf News.