Breaches of marine turtle conservation law will invite fines, jail terms: MoEW
DUBAI, UAE — The Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) on Saturday has called on UAE residents to support marine turtle conservation by stringently complying with the law that prohibits hunting turtles and marine mammals.
Hunting sea turtles and marine mammals of all types and sizes or collecting their eggs and tampering with their hatching and breeding nests will be subject to strict penal actions including prison terms, an MoEW statement said.
The UAE Federal Law No.23/ 1999 on the exploitation, protection and development of living aquatic resources prevents hunting sea turtles of all types, sizes and ages, in any area of the fishing waters or the beach.
Imprisonment terms not less than six months, or/and fines ranging from Dhs50,000-Dhs100,000 will be slapped as penalties.
In case of repeated offence, the punishment will be imprisonment for three years or more, or/and fines ranging from Dhs100,000-Dhs200,000. In all cases, the boats and equipment used for hunting the marine species will be confiscated.
If licensed fishermen are found violating the law, their boats will be booked for a period of six months, and all the equipment will be confiscated. Moreover, the violator would be fined Dhs3,000. In the case of repeated offence, the penalty will be cancellation of the boat’s licence along with confiscation of all seized materials, and a fine of Dhs5,000.
Also, fishermen, who unknowingly trap sea turtles with their equipment, should take sufficient measures to release them safely back into the water. The law also prohibits collection of turtle eggs or tampering with the turtles’ hatching or breeding nests, trading turtles, their eggs or transferring them from one place to another.
Besides, the law also prevents hunting of whales and dugongs and other marine mammals of all types and sizes. Extracting oysters and coral reefs is also restricted, but it’s allowed for scientific research purposes, after obtaining written permission from a competent authority.