Two chefs preparing a Napoleon fish for cooking at a hotel in Marsa Alam, Red Sea – Press circulated photo Two chefs preparing a Napoleon fish for cooking at a hotel in Marsa Alam, Red Sea – Press circulated photo

Red Sea hotel serves endangered Napoleon fish, authorities to investigate

Sat, Nov. 25, 2017
CAIRO – 25 November 2017: A team of environmental researchers will investigate how an endangered Humphead Wrasse was served at the buffet of a hotel in Marsa Alam, Director General of the Red Sea Protected Areas Ahmed Ghallab.

Gallab added in his press statement that the team will investigate the source of the fish, whether it was got from a diving center or a fishing boat, and the fishing location, whether permitted to fish at or a natural reserve.

The Humphead Wrasse, also known as Napoleon fish, is a species of Wrasse that can be located within the east coast of Africa and the Red Sea.

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The Humphead Wrasse is the largest living member of the family – CC via Pixabay/Skitterphoto

The Napoleon fish is listed as ‘endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, which is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species.

Ghallab affirmed that a bulletin of all the endangered species and fish that are illegal to capture will be distributed to hotels.

He stressed that all the necessary legal procedures will be followed regarding violators.

A diver at Marsa Allam affirmed that some German tourists captured photos of the fish while it was being served at the buffet of the hotel. It was deemed a violation of environmental law, and posted on social media, which reflected a negative feedback.

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The fish being prepared for cooking – Press circulated photo

The diver, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that the Humphead Wrasse is labeled as endangered in CITES’ Appendix II, and is topping the list of the creatures protected according to the Egyptian law and a number of agreements and international treaties.

The fish has one of the highest retail values in Asia, especially if captured alive, therefore, illegal and unregulated activities of catching the fish were identified as the major factor contributing to the failure of conserving the endangered species.

It is pertinent to mention that the Egyptian government is exerting strenuous efforts in protecting nature and species. Last month, Red Sea governor, Gen. Ahmed Abdallah, suspended a boat from operation for a week and fined its owner LE 50,000 for causing damage to coral reefs.

Additional reporting by Emad Arafa
 
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