The Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) in Sharjah recently arrested four infiltrators of the Alqurm Protected Area for violating several hunting protocols.
Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority, said that despite clear signage throughout the reserve, which stipulate that entry to the sanctuary is denied without prior official permission and harming wildlife in the reserve directly or indirectly is prohibited, they had "encountered infiltration from some individuals, ignoring all these guidelines, putting the wildlife in the reserve at risk".
Al Suwaidi added that the infiltrators were caught carrying fish and mud crabs in large quantities and, therefore, made to undergo intense legal questioning. The offenders were each issued a fine of Dh10,000.
Alqurm Protected Area, located in the coastal areas of Kalba city, is known for its diverse ecosystems, such as sea water mangroves (Avicennia marina), swamps and salt marshes (sabkhas), and mudflats, which play a vital role in providing a suitable environment for breeding several types of species.
Penalties for causing harm to the nature and wildlife in the emirate are issued by the Executive Council in Sharjah. These can include damages caused to the soil or vegetation, or for cutting down perennial and non-perennial trees. The Council also issues fines for disposal of waste from construction sites or dumping of wastewater and oils used in sewage networks into these areas.
Those following unfair fishing practices, killing and harming wild creatures and destroying geological formations, in addition to polluting the environment, are also subject to severe penalties.
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