Tourists Bust Egyptian Restaurants Serving Endangered Species

endangered species, illegal fishing, Hurghada, tourism, sharks

Tourists offended by this gruesome display of endangered species reported the Picalbatros restaurant in Hurghada, Egypt to the local conservation agency.

Tourists who dine at the Pickalbatros restaurant in Hurghada might be greeted with a gruesome scene: sharks, rays, and parrot fish hanging from hooks, Egypt Independent reports. While some people have turned a blind eye, on three different occasions tourists disturbed by this dark display contacted the Hurghada Environmental Protection Agency (HEPCA) (who is largely credited with the establishment of Egypt’s first dolphin sanctuary) to lodge a formal complaint. The agency in turn is pursuing legal action against the food chain.

endangered species, illegal fishing, Hurghada, tourism, sharksPolyester imitations of sharks and rays?

Egypt Independent’s Louise Sarant traveled to the restaurants in question and snapped up ghoulish images of the animals being displayed from hanging hooks and on a buffet table.

Shark’s eyes were gouged out and sting rays were peeled raw, and patrons had the option of picking out a piece of flesh and having it grilled in front of them.

When HEPCA’s Ahmed Droubi caught wind of this foul play, he contacted the restaurant’s sales manager to complain.

“I have established contact with the sales manager of the Pickalbatros chain to complain about their display of dead protected species,” Droubi told Egypt Independent. “And he replied in an email that the fish were covered in polyester!”

Illegal fishing

The Red Sea governorate banned shark fishing in 2004, a law that was backed up by Egypt’s Agriculture Minister the following year. But regulation has grown soft since last year’s revolution and one environmental official speaking anonymously noted that employees of the General Authority of Fish Resources are running shark fishing boats on the side in order to generate extra income.

Sharks in the Red Sea are facing extinction. Since they are an apex species, this bodes poorly for the marine ecosystem, and could seriously erode the region’s tourism appeal.

Droubi told the paper that he has provided a lawyer with documents in preparation of a lawsuit against the hotel chain’s management.

:: Egypt Independent (formerly Almasry Alyoum)

images courtesy of Louise Sarant

More on the Red Sea and Sharks:

Egypt’s Red Sea Sharks Face Extinction

Post Revolution Development in Egypt Destroys Popular Red Sea Dive Spot

Egypt Establishes Country’s First Dolphin Sanctuary

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One thought on “Tourists Bust Egyptian Restaurants Serving Endangered Species”

  1. Miriam Kresh says:

    Great information, Tafline. HEPCA seems to be the only vigorous conservation program in Egypt.

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