The Ministry of Environment and Water has issued a new law regulating the hunting of shark fins in the UAE. The new resolution, which will come into effect on September 1, imposes limitations on where and when the hunting of sharks in fishing waters can take place, and what kind of fishing equipment can be used. Under the new law, the hunting of sharks is limited to not less than five nautical miles from the shores of the UAE and not less than three nautical miles from the islands of the UAE. The regulation prevents hunting species listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Under that convention, any shark caught must be released back into the sea. Fishermen using a lynch – a tool with multiple hooks – to catch sharks can do so from July 1 to January 31 each year, so long as they do not exceed 100 hooks per lynch. The ministry has also imposed a year-round ban on exporting sharks caught in the UAE’s fishing waters – in any form (fresh, frozen, canned, etc). The ministry told local media this is an attempt to prevent fishing of sharks for their fins and thwart the practice of throwing their bodies back into the sea.