Almost everything that is known about the life of sharks in the Gulf of Arabia comes from one scientist: Dr. Rima Jabado. The Lebanese scientist is a pioneer in shark research in the Arabian Sea, and is the co-author of the first comprehensive study of the population’s health in the Gulf of Arabia.
Sadly Jabado’s research does not make for a pretty picture. According to Ozy.com, her research shows that over 50 percent of sharks, rays, and chimaeras in the region are at an increased risk of extinction.
Jabado is not just trying to survey the local sharks’ population; she is also trying to save them through raising awareness and working with the authorities in the United Arab Emirates. According to Jabado, the hardest aspect is raising awareness about these magnificent creatures. In fact the most common response she gets when raising the issue of sharks is:
“There are sharks in the Gulf?”
Jabado hopes that in the long run, more steps will be taken to protect Elasmobranchs (sharks, rays, and chimeras) that are present in the Gulf. However, she does have an uphill struggle, since the area is surrounded by 20 countries who would have to develop a common policy.
Here’s hoping she’s successful. Check her out at OZY.com.