UAE University launches campaign to protect sharks from extinction
Move seeks to support the government’s efforts towards protecting the environment.
The UAE University (UAEU) has launched a campaign to raise the community’s awareness regarding the pressing need to protect sharks, as they play a vital role in maintaining the balance of the marine ecosystem.
The move is part of the university’s relentless commitment to supporting the government’s efforts towards protecting the environment.
Dr Mohammad Abdul Mohsen Alyafei, Associate Professor, Vice Dean, College of Food and Agriculture, Chair of Integrative Agriculture Department, UAEU, said sharks are considered one of the most important species in the marine ecosystem.
He noted that sharks have been contributing to maintaining the marine ecosystem’s balance for more than 400 million years.
The shark population has reported a decline as a result of overfishing, mainly due to the high value of their fins and meat. In light of the marine food chain, sharks play an essential role in maintaining the marine ecosystem’s balance and increasing its productivity, he said.
“The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment in the UAE has earlier announced a new plan to protect sharks. It has launched the 'National Plan of Action (NPOA) for the Conservation and Management of Sharks 2018-2021' presenting concrete steps towards promoting shark conservation and sustainability in the UAE and enhancing food biodiversity,” added Alyafei.
“A study co-conducted by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) along with its governmental and non-governmental partners, revealed that the UAE is home to more than 80 different species of sharks and rays, most of which are endangered at three different levels: critically endangered, endangered, and vulnerable,” he said.
Dr Alyafei said that the varsity hoped to start the marine research programme in a bid to maintain “our natural resources as a sustainable source for the future generation. It's our responsibility to protect these species from getting extinct due to overexploitation”.
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