Egyptian MP Mohamed Fouad filed an inquiry with parliament regarding the hunting of endangered species of marine animals, including baby sharks and sea turtles, which puts them under threat of extinction.
Fouad, who is a member of the Local Administration Committee, said in a statement on Tuesday that fishermen catch this marine life off the coast of Alexandria to be sold for food at local markets, according to Ahram Arabic website.
"This is a blatant violation that is a result of a lack of supervision by the concerned authorities and bodies, which has led to an increase in this phenomenon and the exacerbation of its negative effects," Fouad said, adding that these practices not only threaten endangered species, but can also negatively affect the health and safety of citizens.
In late January, a social media campaign against fishing for endangered marine life was launched under the title "protect sea turtles from extinction."
On 26 January, a post went viral on Facebook showing pictures of four endangered turtles sold in Alexandria's Midan market, calling on concerned authorities to take action.
The post said that the four turtles are female – all of which were carrying eggs – that weighed up to 250 kilogrammes.
A picture of endangered turtlea being sold at a market in Alexandria as posted by some of the activist. (Photo Courtesy of Social Media)
According to the Ministry of Environmental Affairs website, Egyptian law prohibits the hunting, killing or trading of any endangered living organisms.