Calling for the conservation of sharks in the Arabian region

Some Shark species are in danger and face the threat of extinction because of they are being killed for their fins. Shark fins are used to make shark fin soup, a delicacy in Far East that is often served at special occasions.

Global studies estimate that every year more than 70 million of sharks are being killed just for their fins.                

When I asked Dr. Ralf Sonntag, Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Germany Office about the situation, he told me:

“There is no hidden reserve of sharks and they are disappearing fast, most sharks have an exceptionally limited biological productivity and can therefore be overfished even at very low levels of fishing mortality.”


IFAW is concerned about shark conservation around the world because the demand for shark fin is increasing and expected to continue increasing.

With the support from the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW), IFAW is organizing a Shark Conservation in Arabia Workshop (SCAW) in collaboration with Shark Quest Arabia (SQA).

What is the Shark Conservation in Arabia Workshop?

A regional workshop dedicated to shark conservation in Arabia. The workshop is sponsored by IFAW and set up in collaboration with MoEW and SQA.

When and where will SCAW take place?

It will take place from October 8, 2012 to October 11, 2012 at City Seasons Suites, Dubai, United Arab of Emirates.

What is the key message of the Shark Conservation in Arabia Workshop?

To draw attention to the sharks threats and call for shark conservation in the Arabian region.

The workshop is a platform to provide regional delegates with information and statistics about sharks that will help them to gain a better understanding about shark conservation and why there is a need to take immediate action to save sharks in their waters. 

What will SCAW highlight?

  • The current status of sharks, policies, enforcement laws and conservation management plans in Arabia. 
  • Shark species threats especially Global and regional trade in shark fins.
  • Whale shark research in Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, Indian Ocean. 

How many delegates will participate?

The workshop will be attended by more than 60 experts from UAE, KSA, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti, Germany and Brazil. 

Delegates are representing government, CITES and Fisheries authorities, shark scientists and researchers. Representative from Germany will share their proposals with local and regional officials for listing sharks in CITES appendices.


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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Joseph Okori
Regional Director, Southern Africa and Program Director, Landscape Conservation
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Pauline Verheij, Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Peter LaFontaine, Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Country Representative, Germany
Country Representative, Germany
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy