The return of the Shark Slayers to Tyre:
A Sidon fisherman, Mahmoud Wehbeh, now called the ‘shark hunter’ proudly brags about hunting 12 sharks in the last two weeks. This is not the first time it happens, it has been a trend for many years in Lebanon. The sharks weighs between 250kg ad 100kg. Wehbeh sells one kilogram of the white meat for LL5,000. People use it to prepare fish kibbeh, a popular local dish.
Many groups and organizations are fighting this kind of fishing. Couple of years ago, Purple Reef, an NGO working to protect and conserve the Lebanese coastline, has launched the aptly entitled ‘SNAP’ campaign. Shark National Action Plan’s aim is to educate people about the important role sharks play in the sea’s ecosystem. There are currently between eight and 13 species of shark living within 1km of the coastline and while they might be intimidating, they’re a vital part of the ocean – they shouldn’t be killed in such great numbers.
Depriving the Lebanese coast from sharks is depriving it of the reef manager, the guy keeping everything in check. Keeping populations of other fish healthy in proportion to their ecosystem, they are vital. Eating shark meat isn’t exactly healthy either, their urine is absorbed by the tissue, so if it’s not prepared properly, you’ll find yourself feasting on shark pee.
Usually sharks are so feared by man, especially after the famous movie JAWS. But the reality seems to be different, as men proudly killing the sharks in our sea. They kill them using the fishing net, and sometime the dynamites. This targeted fishing is sometimes bringing in 70 sharks a day.