By Neil Halligan
Ministry of Environment and Water takes tough line on hunting and trading of shark fins in the UAE
The Ministry of Environment and Water has issued new law regulating the hunting and trading of shark fins in the UAE, according to a report in 7Days.
The new resolution, which will come into effect on September 1, imposes limitations on where and when the hunting of sharks in fishing waters can take place, and what kind of fishing equipment can be used.
Under the new law, the hunting of sharks is limited to not less than five nautical miles from the shores of the UAE and not less than three nautical miles from the islands of the UAE.
The regulation prevents hunting species listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Under that convention, any of these species that are caught in fishing equipment must be released back into the sea.
Fishermen using a lynch – a tool with multiple hooks – to catch sharks can do so from July 1 to January 31 each year, so long as they do not exceed 100 hooks her lynch.
The hooks, the ministry says, should be curved, no larger than 0/14 and should be biodegradable.
The ministry has also imposed a year-round ban on exporting sharks caught in the UAE’s fishing waters – in any form (fresh, frozen, canned, etc).
The ministry said in a statement to 7Days newspaper: “This will prevent fishing of sharks for their fins and thwart the practice of throwing their bodies back into the sea.
“The regulation states that sharks must be brought fully into the port. It also aims to prevent the trading of live sharks caught in fishing waters of the UAE unless a special permit has been issued by the ministry.”
It is a start! An excellent example to be nurtured for greater protection, respect and treatment of other living things.
But like so many other laws the Middle East have on paper, let's see those who flout them actually punished severely to deter. After all, with so much legislation in place from road traffic to people traffic, there are laws - laws - laws, but no rules obeyed with impunity.
If this can be enforced then well done to the rulers of the UAE, it is as Jane has said a good start.