Despite bans on shark fishing, fishermen at Red Sea continue to hunt
Despite restrictions on the fishing and trade of sharks and the signing by Egypt of an international agreement to protect them, fishermen in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Suez continue to illegally pursue them en masse.
In its natural habitat at the bottom of the Red Sea, a single shark makes a return of approximately US$200,000 annually for diving trips, while at the fish markets it earns LE50 for one kilo.They then sell their catches at prices starting from LE50 per kilo for sale in fish markets throughout Egypt.
Local groups estimate that there are between 800 and 1,000 ocean sharks in several Red Sea diving areas especially near Safaga on the Al-Akhawayn Islands (Brother Islands).
A report on the number of visitors visiting the al-Akhawayn region to dive with sharks annually and track the number of sharks in the area was carried out by the Marine Protected Areas in the Red Sea reserves.
The Red Sea islands are among the most important locations for sharks, and scientific research has shown that the Akhawayn Islands have the largest number of sharks.
After the Environmental Affairs Department found a troublesome change in shark activity in early 2019, the islands were closed for three months as they started to engage divers on their own.
Maritime Business World