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Kuwait official urges more efforts to combat illegal trafficking in sharks

Combat illegal trafficking in sharks
Combat illegal trafficking in sharks

By Hani Al-Awadh

DUBAI, Feb 17 (KUNA) -- Head of the Department of Maintaining Biodiversity Conservation at the Kuwait Public Environment Authority (PEA) Mona Al-Hussain called Monday for exerting more efforts to curb the illegal trafficking of sharks and marine species.
In statements to KUNA on the sidelines of her participation in a workshop on combatting trafficking in sharks and marine species, Al-Hussain said that "such kinds of workshops help in capacity building to protect sharks and marine species." The three-day event is organized by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Middle East and North Africa Office in cooperation with the UAE Environment Authority.
She pointed out that the workshop helps provide environment conservation teams with the required skills and knowledge to curb the growing random hunting and trafficking in such species that are threatened with extinction.
Al-Hussain said that the workshop witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks (CMS) and shark listed species. But, noted that Kuwait is studying the MoU and is expected to sign it soon.
Kuwait has been eager to join international efforts to conserve environment and to prevent wildlife trafficking.
Last December, IFAW MENA's office joined Kuwaiti authorities to organize a four-day training workshop on prevention of wildlife trafficking for officials concerned with wildlife trade. The training was conducted in collaboration with the Environment Public Authority (EPA), Kuwaiti General Administration of Customs, and Saudi Wildlife Authority (SWA).
For his part, the IFAW's Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed said that that CMS memorandum of understanding is very important to push forwards the efforts to combat trafficking in sharks and other threatened species.
He added that the workshop, attended by 65 environment experts from 13 Arab countries, tackles key tops such as introduction to CMS convention and the main CMS listed species, memorandum of understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks and shark listed species, establishment shark catch quotas, listed species of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), national and regional legislation for shark catch regulation, and recommendations on ways for improving implementation of legislation.
Founded in 1969, the International Fund for Animal Welfare saves individual animals, animal populations and habitats all over the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW provides hands-on assistance to animals in need, whether it's dogs and cats, wildlife and livestock, or rescuing animals in the wake of disasters. We also advocate saving populations from cruelty and depletion, such as our campaign to end commercial whaling and seal hunts. IFAW conducted practical training for officials on how to detect fraud, forgery and counterfeiting of CITES permits through examination, authentication and verification. Officers trained on how to detect smuggling and the techniques smugglers use to move contraband wildlife animals and products made from them.
The prevention of wildlife trafficking training builds and enhances the capacity of wildlife law enforcement officials and strengthening their skills and competencies that will allow them to support the implementation of regulation CITES in their region. (end) hnd.am.ibi KUNA 171745 Feb 14NNNN