Illegal fishing, recourses depletion, shark Finning and fish feeding are among many other environmental violations taking place in the Red Sea.
Those violations has had it is immense negative effect on the marine environment.
Recently, it was topped by an illegal dumping of animal carcasses by a cargo ship in nearby waters of Sharm El Sheikh, it is thought to have triggered the behavioral changes of sharks normal attitude towards human. The accident comes against the backdrop of over-fishing in the long terms, which provoke the natural prey of sharks leading them to adapt a surface-feeding pattern.
Due to the massive amounts of meat dumped at the area, water surface turned to be food feast for natural scavengers.The sudden presence of raw meat was washed towards Sharm El Sheikh shores and beaches by downstream currents and was followed by sharks, doing their natural god's given job of cleaning our oceans and seas.
Unfortunate shark attacks has happened by mistaken surface swimmers, snorkelers and illegal fish feeders as shark food source.
As a result, there has been shark hunt frenzy, takingplace in Sharm El Sheikh trying to empty the sea from these alleged threats for tourism as a main source of national income in Egypt.
The attempts by tourists and divers without thinking to feed organisms in marine diving and snorkeling trips and in near by resorts beaches and shores, is of the reasons that encourages fish brushes to approach people and considered a source of food.
There are tens of thousands fatalities caused by snake bites worldwide Vs 79 attacks caused by Sharks, and only 11 fatalities as most recorded in one year (2000 AD) and yet the authorities in Egypt have chosen to genocide our own heritage! How about the rights of our future generations?
Not only is this a violation of Egyptian laws clearly prohibited the catching, killing and trading of sharks since 2006, but is also risking major damage to an ecosystem that is already suffering from overfishing, physical destruction, habitat degradation and pollution.
Even thought the official statement denies the unfortunate disgraceful hunting fact, several eyewitnesses have confirmed the environmental crime.
Contradictory to the official statement declaring the catch of only 2 sharks, there are confirmed accusation of hunting as many as 8 sharks in a coastal distance of less than 10km and in a matter of only few days.
The later declaration of such dreadful action under the name of scientific research confirms my fears, as Shark assessment’ decent science requiring the ‘scientists’ involved to view shark innards are solely conducted on sharks mistakenly caught in commercial fishermen's nets. You will not find a single decent marine scientist kill an already extinct species for such propose.
As well, this type of research can only gather basic information about the animal such as age, weight, size and feeding pattern: it will never offer behavioral deviation as such research is conducted while the species in its natural habitat, by visual observation as well as installation of electronic tagging devices that provide a vast-full variety of data in that field.
Shark attack statistics are way much lower than fatalities caused by snake bites, elephant stumpy, hippo attacks and other animal related accidents.
Sharks do play a major role in the eco system and with out it, nothing else has a chance to survive.
Marine scientists extensive research and efforts are needed as well as a much tighter implementation of environmental regulations in order to reveal roots of such behavioral change.
As well, marine enthusiasts and environmentalists are condemning such behavior worldwide and demanding a full and permanent seizure of such criminal act.
It is not acceptable or tolerable for our community to witness such shameful and ignorant behavior by unaware officials, especially after Prime Minister of Egypt Dr. Ahmed Nazif declared Sharm El Sheikh as a green city.
Wiping out the local shark populations is the worst possible response to the unfortunate and very uncommon accidents; I am glad it stopped and need to insure it will never re-occur!
Therefore, I demand a full and permanent abandons of shark hunting crimes and a definite affirmation of validating protecting low for such endangered marine spices. It is time for such low to be put in action and to materialize.
Please sign my petition to try and stop this frenzy and protect our heritage.
Dr. Amr Aboulfath