Stop illegal shark-fishing in Saudi Arabia and protect the sharks of the Red Sea.
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Humans kill an estimated 100 million sharks every year. Some shark populations have declined by up to 98% in the last 15 years. We need to take immediate action in order to prevent the extinction of one of the oldest yet least understood creatures on the planet.
The shark population of the Saudi Arabian Red Sea is about to collapse. Local fishermen are deliberately targeting the shark nursery areas and killing sharks before they are old enough to reproduce. Under a royal decree from 2008 (Letter no: 57543 dated: 23/8/1429) all shark-fishing activities in Saudi Arabia are illegal. The decree states that 'without violation, any person who fishes sharks of any kind or size should be penalized according to the regulations provided by the ministry.' Unfortunately, this law is not being enforced or regulated in any way. Sharks are still being killed and then sold on a daily basis during the early-morning auctions at Jeddah fish market, the largest in the country.
Overfishing is a huge problem worldwide. Yet, unlike in most other countries, overfishing in Saudi Arabia is not a result of poverty or due to a lack of any alternatives. Sharks are not being killed for sustenance or due to an economic need. There is simply no effective management of local fisheries. There are unregulated, uncontrolled shark fisheries operating out of Jeddah and a lack of local awareness about marine conservation, especially regarding the importance of a healthy shark population.
The good news is that we have the opportunity to change this. This situation is unique because we can make a massive difference with just a few key changes in the right places.
Saudi Arabia has the human and financial resources to change this situation. All of the border controls and the laws are already in place - every boat going in and out of port is required to report to the coastguard.
All that is required in order to stop the decimation of the Saudi shark population is that when these boats are stopped by the coastguard, they are thoroughly checked for shark landings and that severe penalties are imposed on any fishermen violating the Royal Decree against shark-fishing in Saudi Arabia.
This petition has one aim: to pressure the Makkah coastguard into checking boats for illegal shark fishing and then imposing penalties on those breaking the law.
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