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01 December 2023

UAE bans shark finning


By Staff

The UAE has told its fishermen to stop hunting sharks for their fins in line with an international convention enforced in many countries worldwide.

The decision, which will be enforced through the UAE from September 1, also bans the hunting of sharks within areas of less than five nautical miles from the UAE coastline and three miles from the shores of the country’s islands.

The decision was issued this week by minister of environment and water Rashid bin Fahd and is the latest in a series of rules to regulate fishing and hunting and stop malpractices against animals on land and in the sea.

“Hunting of sharks will not be allowed within marine areas of less than five nautical miles from the UAE shores,” the circular said.

“Fishermen are also not allowed to hunt sharks just for their fins and to dump the animals or their remains into the water…the whole bodies of the sharks, dead or alive, must be brought to port……dealing in live sharks caught in the UAE’s territorial waters is also banned without a prior permission from the ministry.”

Shark finning refers to the removal and retention of shark fins while the remainder of the living shark is discarded in the sea.

Sharks returned to the water without their fins are often still alive and are unable to move effectively. As a result, they sink to the bottom of the sea and die of suffocation or are eaten by other fish or predators.

Shark finning at sea enables fishing vessels to boost profitability and increase the number of sharks harvested, as they only have to store and transport the fins, by far the most profitable part of the shark.

Some countries have banned this practice and require the whole shark to be brought back to port before removing the fins.