SHARJAH, 16th March, 2023 (WAM) — Sheikh Majid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Head of the Districts and Villages Affairs Department, and Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah (EPAA), witnessed the launch of 158 healthy seabirds on the of Al Heera Sharjah Beach today.
The event was held in cooperation with the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Sharjah Police General Command and Sharjah Municipality, in the presence of several senior officials and participants.
The launch was accompanied by a mini-awareness exhibition documenting different types of seabirds, the EPAA’s work regarding sustainability and response, and educational workshops.
Hana Saif Al Suwaidi said, “The bird release event falls under the initiatives of the Sharjah Strandings Response Programme, which the EPAA launched in May 2021, to translate its vision and efforts in preserving biodiversity in the region. It is part of implementing the directives of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to preserve the environment, protect marine and terrestrial life, and consolidate concepts and initiatives of environmental sustainability.”
Al Suwaidi explained that the healthy seabirds were released after they were rescued from the coast of Sharjah and then examined, treated, cared for and subjected to comprehensive examinations by qualified veterinarians. The process was to ensure they were free of injury, disability, disease and susceptibility before they were re-released to their natural and appropriate environment, according to the recommendation of our environmental specialists about the most appropriate place and date for re-release. The birds released after recovery varied between Black Headed Gull, and Caspian Gull.
“The Sharjah Strandings Response Programm is one of the main priorities of the EPAA. Through this programme, we aspire to expand current knowledge about biodiversity, the environment and threats to animals and marine organisms in the emirate. The program serves marine reptiles, marine mammals, and delinquent seabirds. It covers all investigations and responses to the delinquency of marine life in the Emirate of Sharjah through four basic and integrated directions: survey, search, rescue, and environmental awareness,” Al Suwaidi added.
The programme is an important tool for rapid response and rescue of affected organisms that need medical care and follow-up.
It also aims to be a supportive step towards strengthening EPAA’s position as a reference and first source of information and statistical data on organisms of all kinds in the region. This enables vital content to be utilised for developing procedures and policies, aiming to preserve biodiversity based on evidence, and adopting and launching appropriate awareness and educational campaigns for the public.