How is the UAE protecting marine wildlife?

A new initiative has been launched to improve conservation and sustainability of sharks in the UAE.


Announced ahead of Shark Awareness Day on 14th July, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has unveiled the National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks 2018-2021.

The four-year plan has four main objectives including enhancing the knowledge of shark species and the ecosystem, implementing effective policy and legislation, creating a national and regional cooperation framework and enabling effective conservation.

At present, there are 43 shark species in the waters of the UAE with 42 percent of these considered endangered ,according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.

Identifying the challenges that have led to the decline in the shark population is key to the plan, including commercial and recreational fishing, changes to habitat, coastal development and climate change.

Ahmed Esmaeli Al Hashmi, director of marine diversity at the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, said: “The plan aims to ensure the effectiveness of policies, legislation and enforcement mechanism, and to establish a framework for natural, regional and international cooperation through the activation of relevant environmental legislation and laws.

“A key objective of the plan is to enable effective conservation efforts through enhanced surveillance, capacity-building and public awareness, and to highlight the role that government, private and individual sectors can play in shark conservation.”

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