New laws have been introduced in Egypt following increased pressure and lobbying from the Red Sea Governorate and HEPCA (Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association) that officially ban and criminalize shark fishing and trading.
Divers and conservationists noticed that since 2000, shark numbers were decreasing, due to a wave of commercial fishing coupled with increasing demand for exotic seafood dishes such as shark fin soup.
Like the whale shark however, this is another example of how tourism pressures can be advantageous for conservation. In the Red Sea tourists spend vast quantities just to see the sharks, it has been estimated that each shark in the Red Sea generates £10 000 income to Egypt. A pretty good reason to protect them!
This is an exciting step forward for conservation in the Red Sea.