RAK residents angered after indiscriminate fishing washes dead sea turtles ashore

The death of rare birds and turtles as a result of indiscriminate fishing has residents of Al Jeer up in arms.

RAS AL KHAIMAH // The death of rare birds and turtles due to indiscriminate fishing has angered residents of the village of Al Jeer.

Residents lodged complaints with authorities after a foul smell coming from the discarded carcasses on the beach alerted them to the issue.

Ahmed Saeed Al Shehhi, an Al Jeer resident, said several types of birds, fish and sea turtles had been caught in purse-seine fishing nets, which hang vertically in the water and surround schools of fish before tightening and trapping all marine life within it.

Residents have complained about the practice which they say has caused the deaths of sea turtles, fish and birds which are key to marine life, reported Aletihad, the Arabic-language sister newspaper of The National.

Abdullah Al Shehhi, another resident of Al Jeer, said the turtles caught in the nets of fishermen die instantly and are one of the rare species that must be preserved. He suggested imposing strict measures on fishermen, particularly those using such nets.

“During the fishing ban we did not encounter such problems,” he said.

The Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah said the animals are often by-catch which get washed ashore after fisherman throw them into the sea.

The authority will be meeting with fishermen using purse-seine nets to put measures in place to prevent indiscriminate fishing and ensure beaches are kept clean.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: September 8, 2016 04:00 AM

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