UAE's seasonal ban on shark fishing begins

Four-month ban runs during the spawning season

Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Sphyrna lewini, Arch, Galapagos, Darwin Island, Ecuador. (Photo by Prisma Bildagentur/UIG via Getty Images)

A four-month ban on shark fishing in the UAE's waters begins on Tuesday, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment announced.

The annual prohibition from March to the end of June runs during the spawning season and allows stocks to recover.

It also permanently bans pleasure vessels from fishing sharks throughout the year.

“Our fishing regulations align with the UAE’s strategic goal of preserving its natural resources and sustaining and enhancing its marine wealth,” said Nasir Mohammed Sultan, acting assistant under-secretary for the biodiversity and marine life sector at the ministry.

Authorities in the UAE have also permanently banned the import and re-export of shark fins in any form, excluding fins that are imported for scientific purposes subject to approval from the ministry.

The ministry has joined forces with federal and local authorities, environmental organisations and fishing societies to educate the community about the importance of fishing and trade bans to protect and develop fisheries.

A four-year action plan to save dozens of shark and ray species from the brink of extinction was unveiled by the ministry in 2018.

The National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks 2018 to 2021 gives concrete steps to develop public awareness and strictly enforce legislation to protect sharks, skates, rays and chimaeras.

Updated: February 28, 2022, 2:45 PM