30 August 2020
The Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah organized a virtual seminar in cooperation with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the International Fund for Animal Welfare entitled "Biodiversity is everyone's responsibility." This coincides with the celebration of the International Whale Shark Day, which falls on August 30 of each year,
Speakers representing the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare participated in this seminar, and the total number of followers of the seminar reached 108 participants.
The panel discussion was opened by His Excellency Dr. Saif Muhammad Al Ghais, Director General of the Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah, by providing an overview of the whale shark, or the so-called acrobatic shark, also called the peaceful whale, which is considered the largest species of sharks as well as the largest fish ever.
Where the whale shark feeds mainly, though not exclusively, on plankton, microscopic plants, animals and small fish, stressing the importance of this type of shark in achieving diversity and biological balance, which is also considered an endangered species.
And Dr. Al-Ghais commenting on this seminar: “Organizing such events and celebrating these environmental events comes within the framework of the authority’s commitment and desire to achieve the highest level of environmental awareness and shed light on all members of society in addition to diversity in community awareness of the various environmental issues in the country and the emirate,
Whereas, the Commission organized this seminar in cooperation with the concerned authorities in order to highlight the efforts made to preserve all types of fish and the importance of the return from adherence to the state’s legislation and laws for its public interest for the environment and society in order to achieve sustainability and food security. ”
For her part, Ms. Rumaitha Abdulaziz Al Shehhi, a representative of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, praised the decisions and legislation issued by the ministry regarding the preservation of wealth and fisheries, specifically sharks.
Dr. Ahmed Mohamed, the Regional Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) for the Middle East and North Africa, also reviewed the efforts made by the Fund to protect and preserve the species of sharks, noting the danger of overfishing of sharks in the Arab Gulf and North Africa bordering the Mediterranean with the aim of trading in fish fins. The shark, cut it, and then thrown the fish back into the sea. As a result, the sharks are unable to pass water to their gills to breathe, which leads to their death or predation.
The degree of environmental awareness of the participants was measured before and after the seminar on the subject of biological diversity and the importance of preserving whale sharks before the seminar and immediately after the end of the seminar for the same participants.