Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
School children build an artifical reef project as part as Ecocoast education on Tuesday at the diving club at Jumeria beach hotel in Dubai.
School children build an artifical reef project as part as Ecocoast education on Tuesday at the diving club at Jumeria beach hotel in Dubai.

Shark class requires knife and strong stomach

A group of teenagers learn about sharks by dissecting two of them and building artificial coral reefs.

ABU DHABI // A group of teenagers learnt about sharks by dissecting two of them and building artificial coral reefs.

Twenty students at GEMS World Academy in Dubai are taking part in the programme, Week Without Walls, which is presented by the diving and education charity, Tawasul.

This weekend the group will head to the Musandam Peninsula to explore marine biodiversity in the area.

"The aim of the project is to take the children out of the classroom and let them learn from the environment," said Tawasul's founder, Ernst Van Der Poll. "It gives them an opportunity to meet people and see what other professional fields there are out there."

About 1,000 youngsters have participated in the programme since it started in 2009.

Angus Jackson, an engineer from Ecocoast Marine Contracting in Dubai, taught pupils between the ages of 15 and 18 how to use discarded construction material to build two artificial reefs. The three-square-metre reefs are to be sunk off the coast of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, where the training took place.

Later in the day, the group dissected two sharks bought from the Dubai fish market. Rima Jabado, who led the exercise, has been working for more than a year to determine how much local fishing is contributing to the rapid decline of sharks, which are also disappearing globally.

"We know what is going on around the world, more or less but we do not have any information about the UAE that is comprehensive and long term," she said.

Juan Jacques Engelbrecht, 18, signed up for the programme out of love for the ocean and is considering a career in underwater filmmaking. "The ocean takes up most of the Earth's space but we do not know much about it," he said.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Ali Benflis, opposition leader and main rival to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika speaks to the press after casting his vote in the presidential elections at a polling station in Algiers on. Former prime minister Benflis ran against Bouteflika in 2004 but lost heavily, charging the vote was rigged 10 years ago and has said fraud will be his ‘main adversary’ during the election. Patrick Baz / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world, April 17

The National View's photo editors pick the best images of the day from around the world.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 Walter Zenga is one win away from claiming silverware for the first time in the UAE. Karim Jaafar / AFP

Walter Zenga seeks early retribution at Al Jazira in Arabian Gulf Cup final

A victory over Al Ahli in the Arabian Gulf Cup final will help prove the Italian has turned around the fortunes of the capital club.

 The new Bentley GT Speed convertible on display at a press event of the New York International Auto Show. Jason Szenes / EPA

In pictures: Hot cars at New York International Auto Show

With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the US car industry. Here are some of the vehicles to be shown in this year’s edition.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National