Spotlight Dubai: The tide must turn for sharks before it’s too late
Recently, I participated in the Shark Conservation in Arabia Workshop in Dubai, held in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water and Shark Quest Arabia. The International Fund for Animal Welfare organized and led the workshop.
It’s estimated that more than 70 million sharks are killed every year mostly for their fins. Shark fins are used for shark fin soup, a popular soup served on special occasions in China. It’s considered both a delicacy and a luxury and the demand for the soup is rising as fast as China’s increasingly affluent middle class.
We oppose shark finning because it is cruel and unnecessary. The fin is sliced off a live shark and the shark is thrown back into the water to suffer and die.
As I said during an interview with Dubia Media’s Emirates 24|7 Season television news show, sharks are facing a massive environmental problem worldwide. Most sharks have an exceptionally limited biological productivity and can therefore be overfished even at very low levels of fishing rate. I estimate there are 73 endangered species whose numbers have been reduced to 10 to 20 percent of their original levels. They can’t fulfill their ecological role anymore.
During the interview, I talked about the plight of sharks and what we can do to change the tide while there’s still time. Take a look at the video.